Carbon receipts help building developer Bonava to calculate environmental impact

Kiilto supplies its floor levelling service customers in Finland with a carbon receipt with information on the carbon dioxide emissions of the components used and of the delivery. The carbon receipt has simplified building developer Bonava to calculate the total emissions of completed buildings.

Bonava is one of Europe’s leading building developers. Since its beginnings over 80 years ago, it has built more than 40,000 homes. Today Bonava employs 1,300 professionals in Germany, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Over the years, the company has become one of the leading housing construction developers in Northern Europe.

Bonava’s vision is to develop neighbourhoods making sustainable living easier for the residents. The company investigates new technologies and select materials and building practices with care to create homes that are environmentally friendly in terms of both the residents and the planet.

Environmental friendliness is a rising trend in the construction industry, and carbon dioxide calculations are becoming an increasingly important part of sustainable development and responsible business operations. International and national environmental standards and regulations tighter and tighter emission limits for the construction industry, and customers too – companies, cities and private individuals – are paying more attention to the carbon footprint of their construction projects.

“This is exactly what the carbon receipt system was developed for. The carbon footprint of a completed building consists of multiple parts, and we know that the calculation process for carbon footprint is laborious and complex for construction companies. We want to help our customers by delivering not only the service but also a carbon receipt containing the carbon dioxide emissions of the floor levelling components and of the delivery,” says Eero Katajamäki, sales manager of pumped floor levelling compounds.

Bonava carbon receipt just in time

Bonava is currently building large apartment buildings in Vuosaari, Helsinki (Finland). Four apartment blocks in the Aurinkolahden Sitadelli block have already been completed, with two under construction. The environmental impacts of construction are important for this site as well.

“We are committed to reducing greenhouse gases by 50 per cent in the entire value chain in each new Bonava home by 2030. We are steadily investigating the impact of our operations on the climate, making plenty of calculations for carbon footprint,” says Bonava site engineer Sami Lammi.

Lammi says it is difficult to calculate the carbon footprint of a completed building. Construction projects use a variety of materials and methods that can affect the calculation of carbon footprint in a number of ways. It is also difficult to get information from many subcontractors on what materials and methods they have used. In addition to this, different calculation methods and standards may make it difficult to make comparisons and combine results.

“Gathering all the necessary information is slow and tricky, so we were more than happy with Kiilto’s carbon receipt. The receipt lists clearly the carbon dioxide emissions of the floor levelling components, the delivery and the installation. This way at least one part of the building’s emissions is sorted, requiring no further action from us. The report from Kiilto is easy to use in the calculation of a building’s overall emissions,” says Lammi.

Carbon dioxide calculation: a competitive advantage now, probably a requirement later

Construction companies that can prove their commitment to sustainable development and environmental responsibility can boost their reputation and brand and gain an advantage over their competitors. However, the most important thing is to protect our environment, something we must all take responsibility for.

“The need to reduce emissions is urgent, and all types of solutions are needed. We need collaboration between the building material industry and designers so that we can develop and start using new construction materials with lower carbon content, promote the use of recycled and reused materials and maybe even make use of entire construction components,” says Lammi.

In future we will have to reduce emissions even further owing to customer demand and statutory requirements. Customers prefer to use environmentally friendly and low-emission building materials and methods. It is possible that, not too far from now, customers will choose a developer based on the amount of emissions of the completed building.

“Efforts to safeguard the climate are gathering pace, and in order to keep up construction companies have to stick together. The carbon receipt adds transparency to the environmental effects of construction and help make informed decisions about choice of components,” says Katajamäki.