Wednesday, January 19

Fact box: How we have calculated – News (Echo)

How have we calculated?

We have used public information from around 50 Swedish companies, which, based on operations and size, should be among the most climate-affecting Swedish companies. We have then chosen to compile the emissions from the 30 of them.

In the name Swedish company, we have included companies that have their head office in Sweden, that are listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange or that otherwise have a significant Swedish connection.

Included in the calculations are emissions from the companies’ entire value chain, ie both direct (scope 1 and scope 2) and indirect emissions (scope 3). The indirect emissions include emissions from purchased raw materials and materials as well as emissions from the use of sold products and services. For most large Swedish companies, the large emissions are in scope 3.

We have retrieved our information from annual reports and reporting to Carbon Disclosure Project as well as from interviews with company representatives and experts.

The company (Volvo AB) that we estimate has the highest emissions, we do not have an exact figure for. But based on emissions that their competitors with similar operations report and interviews with the company and experts, we estimate that the company’s emissions from the entire value chain exceed 200 million tonnes.

Other companies, such as companies in the food sector, make calculations for parts of the range that make it possible to make reasonable assumptions about the size of emissions. These are therefore included in the calculations.

Emissions from other companies that are probably significant, such as Atlas Copco, and Alfa Laval, Peab and JM are not included in the compilation because we have judged that it is not possible to make an independent analysis that we feel safe with.

In total, this amounts to just over 840 million tonnes of CO2e for the 30 companies included in Ekot’s calculations.

The figure from EU citizens ’emissions is taken from Eurostat’s calculations of EU citizens’ greenhouse gas emissions for 2019 expressed in CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalents) which were last calculated in 2019. At that time, the greenhouse gas footprint for an EU citizen was 8.36 tonnes of CO2e. (not to be confused with carbon footprint which is sometimes used in EU contexts which is lower as it only includes the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide)

What sources of error are there?

When you combine company emissions and include indirect emissions, certain emissions will be calculated twice. In the case of Swedish companies, for example, parts of Preem’s emissions will also be included in all the companies that have transports and refuel their vehicles with Preem. Arla’s emissions from sales in Sweden also end up with Ica, Coop and Axfood, etc.

But since the majority of the emissions in our report come from global export companies that have the absolute majority of their emissions in other countries, the double count will not be so large.

On the other hand, we know that large emissions caused by Swedish companies are missed because several companies, such as Atlas Copco and Alfa Laval, do not report all their emissions, and are not included in our calculations.

One should also be aware that this type of calculation is complicated. Companies’ estimates of their emissions can change drastically depending on the assumptions they make and the limits they set.

Are the indirect emissions the responsibility of the Swedish companies?

Yes, but not only. Most Swedish large companies have had their climate goals approved by the UN-affiliated organization Science Based Targets. There, they undertake to reduce emissions throughout their value chain. Part of that work is to persuade subcontractors and customers to report their emissions and set targets to reduce them. It is therefore a shared responsibility. A vehicle manufacturer is thus responsible for the emissions that occur when their vehicle is driven, but it also has the petrol company, the haulage company, the company that ordered the freight transport and ultimately the customer who buys the product.

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