Carbon Footprint of Construction Equipment

Jun 17, 2019

Renting equipment reduces carbon emissions

By sharing equipment and performing in asset management, the rental industry contributes to avoiding carbon emissions.

Three specialised, independent research companies – Climate Neutral Group, CE Delft and SGS Search – have researched and calculated the CO2 emissions during the full life-cycle of ten pieces of equipment representative of the portfolio of European Rental Association (ERA) members.

The research concludes that efficient use lowers the total carbon footprint of the pieces of equipment and that the rental business model stimulates efficient use. Depending on specific user practice, ERA estimates that this can lead to significant reductions, in the range of 30% and sometimes over 50%.

The research consultants have built a calculator to determine the carbon footprint of the use of construction equipment, based on various parameters. The parameters having the most influence on the carbon footprint of equipment are:

  1. Intensity of use – maximising the utilisation rate could reduce the amount of equipment required
  2. Equipment adequacy – using the right equipment for the job
  3. Transportation – shorter distance and high load factors
  4. Maintenance – allowing extended lifetime

The main objective of the project was to discover the environmental impact of construction equipment through independent analysis. 10 pieces of equipment, from several manufacturers were selected to be analysed for the research to represent a wide variety of popular equipment categories, including earthmoving, material handling, access, power and tool.

Try out the ERA Equipment CO2 Calculator to make more sustainable choices when using construction equipment.


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