Konecranes’ own operations to be carbon neutral by 2030

Konecranes' own operations to be carbon neutral by 2030

In 2022, Konecranes achieved the science-based target of reducing the emissions of its own operations (Scope 1 & 2) by 50 % from 2019. Since the company has made great progress towards its ambitious climate targets a new, more ambitious target has been set: The company is aiming at carbon neutral own operations by 2030.

Why is it important for a company to have ambitious climate targets?

Limiting global warming to 1.5 °C compared to pre-industrial levels requires urgent actions, something made clear in the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report in March 2023. Everyone must participate in climate action and companies, like Konecranes, play a key role. Ambitious climate targets

“Konecranes is executing its climate roadmap at full speed. We have set ambitious science-based emission reduction targets, validated by the Science Based Targets initiative in January 2022. As we already reached the emission reduction target for our own operations, we decided to raise the bar and further increase our ambition. The climate crisis demands actions now and Konecranes is fully committed to being part of the solution,” says Anniina Virta-Toikka, Head of Sustainability at Konecranes.

Systematic work and investments in energy efficiency improvements

“The biggest contribution to the emission savings was the transition to renewable electricity in all our factories. But what is more important, is that we have systematically invested in energy efficiency improvements in our manufacturing operations. For example, in 2022, we finalized insulation improvements in three factories and a major HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) renewal in one of the biggest manufacturing sites. We also increased solar panel coverage in several units. We have invested in vehicle fleet development for improving the fuel efficiency, and in 2022, we adopted the first, fully electrified service vehicles,” Virta-Toikka continues.

Currently, approximately 70 % of the Konecranes’ Scope 1 & 2 emissions come from the fuel consumption of the company’s vehicle fleet. This includes both, benefit cars and service fleet. The rest of the emissions are caused by the energy consumption of the factories, offices as well as refrigerants. 

Konecranes’ way to carbon neutrality by 2030

Always prioritizing energy efficiency. This means constantly looking for possibilities to improve: It could be factory modernization or machinery renewals, improving insulation, heating and cooling, adopting heat recovery or training employees to save energy. For reducing vehicle fleet fuel consumption, this is for example optimizing the vehicle size and routes. Konecranes has a plan for electrifying the vehicle fleet and in the end of May 2023, altogether 64 electric vehicles are in use. And more is to come already in 2023.

Using renewable energy. All electricity used in Konecranes’ manufacturing operations is renewable. This was achieved by first reducing electricity consumption by implementing energy efficiency improvements and then investing in on-site electricity generation, like solar panels. Finally, Konecranes purchased renewable electricity guaranteed by local renewable electricity certificates. Going further, Konecranes continues to look for other energy sources, like heating, that can be replaced with renewable alternatives. For example, Hämeenlinna factory in Finland has recently switched to renewable district heating. Geothermal heating is piloted in Markaryd factory, Sweden, and test-drills are planned in other locations as well.

As a last tool, offsetting the unavoidable emissions. Currently, Konecranes needs offsetting to achieve carbon neutrality. This means that the company is compensating emissions by funding projects that create CO2 savings elsewhere. The goal is ultimately to minimize emissions so there wouldn’t be any left to offset. However, getting rid of the emissions caused by the vehicle fleet fuel consumption and refrigerants at factories is a struggle with the current technology and infrastructure. The company is optimistic that feasible solutions would be available in the future to minimize these emissions so that no offsetting would be needed.

What’s the timeline?

Timeline for carbon neutral own operations

In 2022, the emissions from Konecranes’ own operations (scope 1 & 2) decreased by 27 % compared to 2021, and by 50 % compared to the base year 2019. Thus, the company was able to reach the ambition level of scope 1 & 2 science-based target of halving the emissions. The main contributor was the shift to renewable electricity in all factories.

In 2023, Konecranes received its first CarbonNeutral® building certification for the factory in Hämeenlinna, Finland, in accordance with The CarbonNeutral Protocol, the leading global framework for carbon neutrality. The Hämeenlinna certification is the result of the company’s actions in reducing the factory’s greenhouse gas emissions by 50 % compared to 2019 by using renewable energy and improving energy efficiency, as well as purchasing carbon credits to compensate the emissions that cannot be eliminated yet. Work continues in Hämeenlinna to further reduce the remaining emissions, and the activities for the next two years will further decrease the emissions to -70 % compared to 2019 emission level.

The target is to have carbon neutral manufacturing network by 2027. This requires the company to continue investing in energy efficiency and finding alternative renewable energy sources like for example renewable district heat, geothermal energy and biogas. Konecranes also aims to use less emission-intensive refrigerants. And finally, as the last tool, where there are no feasible renewable options available, the remaining, unavoidable emissions need to be offset.

Final step is to have the vehicle fleet and offices carbon neutral by 2030. To reduce these emissions, Konecranes will focus on optimizing the vehicle sizes, electrifying the fleet where feasible and embedding economical driving practices. In addition, the company will purchase renewable electricity for offices. After the implementation of all these activities - if there are some emissions left – the remaining emissions will need to be offset. As a result, Konecranes’ own operations would be carbon neutral.


Carbon neutrality

Carbon neutrality means having a balance between emitting carbon and absorbing carbon from the atmosphere. For Konecranes this means minimizing emissions from its own operations, maximizing the share of renewables and offsetting the unavoidable emissions.

Climate targets founded on science

Science-based targets aligned with the ambition to limit global warming to 1.5°C

Konecranes has set science-based targets of cutting half the company’s scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions by 2030. These targets are in line with the ambition to limit global warming to 1.5°C and were validated by SBTi early 2022. This article discusses scope 1 and 2 emissions, but what about scope 3?

For scope 3, Konecranes is committed to reduce absolute carbon emissions by 50% by 2030, encompassing the use of sold products and steel related purchases. The target covers over 70% of Konecranes’ value chain emissions and it will be achieved mainly by electrifying product offering, further accelerating the adoption of smart design principles and collaborating with steel providers who share Konecranes’ climate ambition.

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