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Volvo CE publishing industry’s most extensive Product Carbon Footprint reports

Volvo CE is publishing the construction equipment industry’s most extensive catalogue of Product Carbon Footprint (PCF) reports, making it easy for customers to take active steps to reduce their environmental impact. The reports confirm that electric machines are a more sustainable choice compared to conventional diesel machines, when looking at greenhouse gas emissions over their entire life cycle.

Determined to be at the forefront of the industry decarbonization transformation, Volvo CE is publishing its PCF reports providing vital data for customers to understand their complete emissions and take action to reduce their own carbon footprint. Volvo CE is also sharing its PCF methodology on its company website, showing how data can be used to drive change. By doing this, Volvo CE is delivering a real and proven framework in which to move collectively towards global and national climate goals.

The detailed methodology, developed in-house by Volvo CE experts, works by analyzing the carbon footprint of every aspect of a product’s life—incorporating both traditional and electric machines across the company’s far-ranging portfolio. It covers all steps from the extraction of raw materials, component manufacturing and machine assembly, through to recycling and end-of-life. The principles of the methodology are based on two global standards: the global ISO standard for Life Cycle Assessment and the Green-house Gas Protocol.

The numbers are translated into a report for each product, providing a simple baseline from which to then take action to decarbonize. This is essential information for customers, who make choices on which equipment to use in their projects, as well as for Volvo CE who has the ambition to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions in its entire value chain by 2040. To achieve those results, long-term, stepwise year-to-year actions are required by all stakeholders in the value chain. This is a tool to both measure progress and make decisions that drive actions in the right direction.

The work of the Volvo CE LCA program is constantly evolving. For the PCF analysis, this means the number of product reports is expanding continuously, prioritized mainly based on sales volume. Today, customers can visit the Volvo CE website and download PCF reports on both conventional articulated haulers, wheel loaders and excavators, as well as selected electric offerings, such as the ECR25 Electric and EC230 Electric excavators.

The reports also demonstrate that electric machines are a more sustainable choice over their entire life cycle when compared to diesel.

Depending on the energy mix used to charge the batteries, the emissions from the use phase of an electric machine are reduced by up to 95%. While battery manufacturing results in a higher carbon footprint for electric machines during the production phase, when compared to diesel, overall carbon emissions for an electric machine are still reduced 80-90% over the entire life cycle.

—Rickard Alm, Head of the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) program at Volvo CE

The LCA program forms part of a wider sustainability approach by Volvo CE, that also includes implementing low-carbon materials and moving to more fossil fuel-free alternative drivelines, such as those provided by its commercial line-up of electric machines and charging solutions.

The methodology used to produce these reports can be brand-agnostic and is open for any other OEM to explore and implement. As new legislations come into effect, the calculations used within the methodology will continue to be reviewed to ensure accuracy.



Kudos to Volvo and Geely, their owners.
After the disaster of Ford ownership, who were destroying everything that made Volvo Volvo, the Chinese owners knew that potential owners, including the Chinese, valued it precisely because of its Swedish attitudes and direction.

They and their sister company Polestar have really led the way in introducing proper energy costings in the value chain, unlike the wowie-zowie 'its electric, so it must be good!' greenwashing approach of some cavalier competitors.

Using proper costings can show up clearly where savings can be made.

So for instance, where hydrogen is needed in production, for instance in steel making, it seems the easiest way to transport the hydrogen is not to bother, but to produce the steel where there are abundant local resources of iron and renewables, for instance in Australia:

' "Our new study shows that renewable-scarce countries like parts of the EU, Japan and South Korea could save between 18 to 38 percent in production costs," explains Philipp Verpoort, scientist at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and lead author of the study published in Nature Energy. "They could do so by relocating their production of industrial basic materials like green steel and chemicals based on green hydrogen to countries where renewable energy is cheap." '

For potential alternatives like direct electric reduction, you still need energy, and in fact that idea is at a very early stage indeed, with the materials needed to withstand the huge heat load presenting major fundamental obstacles.

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For areas with lousy renewables potential, nuclear should not be written off.

This study reckons that hydrogen produced by the Rolls Royce SMR and the Topsoe Haldor SOEC can produce economic hydrogen, as the process heat can be used and the power is 24/7:

' The results revealed that hydrogen can be produced by the SMR – SOEC combination for less than €3.50/kg (2024€), significantly better than alternatives that lack the continuity and flexibility of nuclear energy. This cost can be driven down to less than €2.00/kg (2024€) by 2050 by taking into account the value of the flexibility to curtail hydrogen production and deliver electricity to an increasingly intermittent grid.'

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