Putting a number on CO2 emissions from transport


Putting a number on CO2 emissions from transport

CO2 is widely acknowledged as a culprit in climate change. For many years, Trelleborg has had a long term strategy for significantly reducing its CO2 emissions from all direct and indirect sources.

But there was a significant challenge: transport. Measuring CO2 emissions from transport of outgoing goods and incoming supplies, from all internal and external partner sources in every part of the world is, in a word, complicated. There are many different ways to make those calculations, and in some cases there’s just no data available.

At the same time, when reduction is the goal, it’s important to have some idea of what those emission numbers look like. Which is why Trelleborg teamed up with Ernst & Young. Together, they have selected a calculation method that would give a reasonably accurate overview of the overall global transport CO2 footprint.

Fifteen representative facilities, accounting for more than half of all transportation costs, were included in the survey. Outgoing transportation – which Trelleborg has direct influence over – was a primary focus.

Emissions data from transport providers was also collected and evaluated—and in cases where the information was unavailable, calculated manually. All data was then extrapolated according to best practice to reveal a total figure of slightly more than 170,000 tons of CO2 emissions annually.

To put it in Trelleborg perspective, that’s roughly equivalent to CO2 emissions from the production of externally purchased energy, which is another focus area of the Group’s climate change strategy.

But getting that number is just the start. Knowing how much CO2 transport is responsible for means targets and goals for lowering emissions can be set. And the process itself for finding a number revealed gaps and opportunities for putting better measuring and calculation activities in place. In the years ahead, the company will develop an approach that will enable it to continuously measure and improve the climate footprint of its transport activities.

You can’t address a problem until you fully understand it. With its first transport footprint assessment in the books, Trelleborg is taking another important step in its commitment to its environmental responsibilities.