Data collection for management of fuel consumption in vehicles and machinery : A study on the challenges and strategic possibilities in the construction industry

University essay from KTH/Industriell ekologi

Abstract: Energy utilization in Sweden has been on a rise since the 1980’s and the industrial sector has been its highest consumer. The construction industry plays a central role in building and developing cities for a population which is increasing rapidly year by year. Environmental awareness has given incentives to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and to make operations more sustainable. The construction industry faces three main challenges in regards to sustainability which are, material usage, vehicle fleets, and machine parks. Vehicles and machines are integral parts within the construction industry, however, how to reduce their environmental impact is a relatively new research area with many challenges. The conclusion that carbon dioxide emissions must be reduced is one that has been reached by the construction industry in Sweden. One way to study this aspect is by collecting and managing data on their fuel consumption since the vehicles and machines operate almost exclusively on fossil fuels. Data collection on fuel consumption by vehicles and machinery will give insight to what factors increase or decrease it. Analyzing these factors will allow for reductions to be made in terms ofcarbon dioxide emissions and costs. The aim of this report is therefore to investigate the aspect of data collection and management on fuel consumption in vehicles and machinery. The report is the result of work conducted in cooperation with the Nordic construction and development company NCC. NCC has set a goal for reducing climate impacts from direct operations by 50% between the years 2015 and 2020. In order for this to be achieved, carbon dioxide emissions resulting from fuel consumption have to be accounted for. As this is a new research area, this report is to serve as a baseline for NCC to get an overview of what challenges and possibilities there are with efficient data collection and management on fuel consumption. The study is initiated by analyzing the three main aspects which are taken into consideration within this study. The first aspect is authoritative requirements which are demands from authorities such as municipalities or the Swedish Transport Administration. The second is the contractors such as NCC which have to meet these requirements. The final aspect is the suppliers who contractors hire for projects. Furthermore, interviews are carried out to gain insight on experiences of persons within the field and the challenges they have faced. A study on Norrtälje Harbor, an old industrial harbor turning into a new city district, is also conducted as there is available data from the vehicles and machines in this project. Finally, a gap-analysis is constructed in order to gain an overview of NCC’s present standings, future goals, andlimitations in terms of data collection and management from vehicles and machinery. The findings of this report conclude that a lack of standard is the biggest challenge which theindustry is facing. Authorities face challenges on how to set standards while the lack of standardsleads to different methods of data collection from contractors and suppliers. It is possible tocollect data from vehicles and machines but calculations are currently based on patterns and donot give a true view of the fuel consumption. Factors, such as driving habits and environment can affect the fuel consumption, therefore the data collected should take all these factors into consideration. Benefits that a company may gain by having this data include increase incompetitiveness due to environmental awareness and transparency as well as also lower costsas less fuel will be purchased. Reducing fuel consumption will ultimately reduce carbon dioxideemissions, which is the industry’s and NCC overall goal.

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