Volvo Construction Equipment’s Braås factory became carbon neutral at the end of December. The 45,000-square-meter site in southern Sweden that designs and manufactures articulated haulers is now entirely powered entirely wind, biomass and hydropower. Volvo Trucks recently accomplished the same feat.
As reported in For Construction Pros, Braås’ first step towards carbon neutrality began in 1999, when it commissioned local energy supplier Växjö Energi AB to install a district heating plant, fuelled by wood chips, to provide central heating for its employees and the town’s residents. Braås then joined a Volvo Group initiative in 2007 that saw it switch to green electricity.
Staff identified the greatest source of energy consumption as the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) burners, which were used to heat the rust protection treatment ovens to 60°C. These were systematically replaced from September 2013 with district heating. The burners in the component paint shop, which reach temperatures of 120° C, were also altered to electrical heating. In addition, the site’s diesel forklifts were substituted with electric battery models.