Construction Climate Challenge: Q&A

June 4, 2014

Background:

Volvo Construction Equipment is hosting a new initiative working with partners to drive sustainability in the construction industry value chain.  The Construction Climate Challenge (CCC) aims to create a dialogue with industry representatives, academics and politicians, as well as providing funding for new research and sharing existing knowledge and resources to help the industry make a difference for generations to come.

General questions

Is this a global initiative?

Yes – climate change is a global phenomenon and addressing the challenge it poses requires the efforts of companies working on a similarly global basis.

What is the mission of CCC?

To create a joint effort in the construction industry to meet the challenge of achieving stable climate conditions for future generations.

What is the objective of CCC?

The CCC is a platform for climate change improvement initiatives with the aim to move the industry towards sustainable solutions. This will be achieved via academic research, knowledge sharing and awareness and engagement.

What role does research play in the CCC?

Research is at the heart of the Construction Climate Challenge. Through supporting and initiating research projects in areas with relevance to our industry, the initiative acts as a bridge between the construction industry and sustainability research. It promotes collaboration between researchers, companies and organizations and publishes research papers and documentation of the projects.

Why launch the CCC now?

Volvo CE – and the whole Volvo Group – has a long history of being at the forefront of environmental improvements in its operations but Volvo recognizes that the best way to counter the effects of climate change is to act in concert with other industry stakeholders.

Is this ‘just’ for the construction equipment industry?

No, CCC embraces the entire value chain of the wider construction industry – from a life cycle perspective. As well as improving our own practices within Volvo CE, the CCC also invites partners throughout the supply chain to participate – suppliers, dealers and customers. Other stakeholders include NGOs, such as the WWF, academia, politicians and the wider society.

Why should Volvo CE ‘host’ the CCC?

Possibly more than any other manufacturer in the industry Volvo has built its reputation on the foundation of environmental care and sustainable development. “As a construction equipment manufacturer we recognize that we can only do so much by focusing on the areas where we have direct impact. Approximately 90% of the climate impact comes from the use of our equipment, and our machines are used in nearly all steps of the construction industry lifecycle.” (Martin Weissburg, CEO, Volvo CE.)

How does CCC relate to the company’s membership of the WWF Climate Savers program?

The CCC is the perfect complement to Volvo CE’s work with the WWF Climate Savers program and its commitment to be a climate leader in the construction equipment industry. Whereas the latter focuses on dramatically bringing down CO2 levels in the short term, the CCC is designed to foster a long-term and widespread culture of sustainability.

Who is the target audience?

As well as looking at our own practices internally (both in manufacturing and the operation of the equipment we produce), the CCC also invites all those in the supply chain to participate – suppliers, dealers and customers. Other stakeholders include trade associations and NGOs (the WWF for example), academia, politicians and the wider society. So whether you are extracting the raw materials at the start of the value chain or recycling materials at the end – and everything in-between – there is an important contribution to be made by all stakeholders in the industry.

How big a contributor is construction to climate change?

Because it touches so many areas of life it’s difficult to put a definitive figure on the impact. But figures published in 2012 showed that the construction industry contributed 20% of global CO2 output. If you just look at the construction equipment industry in Europe that equates to 85 million tonnes of CO2 annually.

In practical terms, what will the CCC actually ‘do’?

The CCC initiative will drive for improvements in the industry’s value chain, raising standards among suppliers and by being a beacon for general improvements in the industry. In practical terms it will create a structured forum that invites dialogue and knowledge-sharing between protagonists who wouldn’t ordinarily meet. It will also host sustainability-focused events and promote and sponsor research.

How long until we see a difference?

While research projects can take many years to conduct and peer review, there are shorter term initiatives that will result in more immediate improvements. Pilot projects will be launched with selected academic partners during 2014.

What is the CCC’s timeframe?

The CCC will work on a three year timeframe, identifying focus areas, evaluating results and improvements – and establishing focus areas for the next three year cycle.

How will the CCC be promoted?

In order to ‘walk the talk’ CCC events will minimise environmental impact by partnering with Volvo CE and CCC partner events. The Volvo Ocean Race is a good example of an event that embodies the values and goals of the CCC, and presents an opportunity to spread the CCC’s central messages of sustainable work practices. CCC events will be held at many of the stopovers the race makes around the world, and the climax of the initiative’s launch year will be the CCC Summit in Gothenburg at the conclusion of the Volvo Ocean Race in June 2015.