Transition of non-production facilities towards carbon-neutrality A Case Study- Volvo CE’s Customer Center

University essay from Linköpings universitet/Energisystem; Linköpings universitet/Energisystem

Abstract: Research on historical developments that lead to the establishment of global organizations for climate change has shown that the phenomenon of surface temperature is not a new topic of focus. Increased policy restrictions, brand image, fear of resource scarcity, growing market trends towards sustainability and consumer awareness are among the several external factors that have influenced the growing research in corporate transition towards carbon neutrality. The main aim of this study is to understand through data accounting of major material and energy carrier changes, how a non-production facility could transition to become a carbon-neutral facility. Therefore, an exploratory case study has been performed and conducted at Volvo CE Customer center in Eskilstuna, Sweden, with two objectives: i) to identify and quantify the customer center current footprint by mapping the main contributors to greenhouse gases emissions, and ii) to recommend specific & general measures that can mitigate the carbon footprint of the facility. Three research questions related to the facility’s current carbon footprint, measures implemented so far, and the best applied assessment method, have guided us throughout the study. The methodology has been framed to give a theoretical underpinning for understanding the project from a holistic perspective. The split of the methodology has been constructed in line with the theoretical framework that gave the foundation to the needed theories to be taken into account i.e. GHG protocol, which is the tool that has been adopted by the study to attain the desired aim, including the three scopes under the protocol which were also defined accordingly. ‘Scope 1’ has been taken into account and is a representation of direct emissions, ‘Scope 2 represents the indirect emissions, and ‘Scope 3’ (according to the GHG protocol) takes into account the rest of the indirect emissions arranged into 15 categories, from which applicable to our study were 4 categories (1, 3, 4 and 6). The results showed that during the base year (2019) the highest user within Scope 1 was diesel, followed by HVO, and under Scope 2, The results from Scope 1 and 2, together with the results of Scope 3 category, were analyzed using the attributional LCA approach recommended by the GHG protocol to calculate their contribution to the customer centers’ total carbon footprint. It was found that Scope 1 stands for 128.52 t CO₂-eq while Scope 2 stands only for 1.16 t CO₂-eq and finally Scope 3 stands for most of the emissions with 3719 t CO₂-eq. It has been found that in 2019, the customer center has saved 101.05 tonnes of GHG by implementing measures, such as switching from using Diesel to HVO and switching from the mixed electricity to the renewable ones, according to the attributional perspective presented in the GHG protocol. However, different results were found when these values were discussed and analyzed from the consequential perspective, since this perspective analyses the effects of the implemented measures on the global emission level. This concluded that implementation of conservation and efficiency measures must take priority before switching to higher priced renewables. Thus, the resulting carbon neutrality will be consequentially safer. The recommendations stated in this study also follows the same principle “Conserve before investing”. Suggestions and recommendations outlined in the study for future implementation approach carbon neutrality as a strategy and not a burden, helping the customer neutral achieve the goal in an Environment, Economic and Socially sustainable manner. 

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