An extensive national ecosystem will be created with funding from the European Union’s NextGenerationEU instrument. The aim is to take Finnish expertise in carbon neutrality onto the international market. The CO2 DataHub entity, which is led by Vastuu Group, enables carbon dioxide emissions to be cut through more accurate data.
The CO2 DataHub project examines and develops methods to measure and calculate the carbon dioxide emissions generated by the delivery chains of the built environment, as well as to manage them based on reliable data. The research focuses on the management of both direct and indirect emissions. An essential part of the entity is the multidisciplinary steering group of the ecosystem, which controls compatibility, the growth model, and the national principles for processing CO2 data.
“There is a global need for emission calculation and reporting, which extends to all companies. Reliable inventories are needed to enable companies to direct their green transmission control measures correctly, not only as regards their own operations but also the entire lifecycle of their services. Since reliable and up-to-date data is unavailable, there are currently no consistent operating principles in the sector. This means that knowledge-based management cannot be implemented and, therefore, the set goals are not achieved as regards effectiveness. Finland has an excellent opportunity to assume the role of a forerunner and to create significant growth and export opportunities for Finnish companies”, says Vastuu Group’s Managing Director Lars Albäck.
The project is part of the NextGenerationEU instrument, which is funded by the European Union. Business Finland will grant an estimated €500 million under this recovery instrument of the EU between 2021 and 2023. The CO2 DataHub project will be funded through this instrument in 2022–2023. The granted funding covers 40% of the project’s €1.7 million budget.
Focus on environmental and corporate liability
The CO2 DataHub project will provide the participating organisations with a better understanding of how to determine the carbon footprint of their delivery chain and to manage CO2 data, and will also help them identify areas within the delivery chains where environmental impacts can be mitigated more economically.
“Standardised and high-quality data of emissions is vital. The CO2 DataHub project enables the carbon emission calculation of the built environment to be automated in a transparent manner and in accordance with the agreed upon practices. For Saint-Gobain, it is important to be part of a transparent platform, in which data related to products, emissions, and volumes flows in a manner that enables its efficient use”, says Saint-Gobain Finland’s Sustainability Manager Anne Kaiser, who also acts as the chair of the ecosystem’s steering group.
Carbon neutrality is a major opportunity
In addition to Vastuu Group, the key actors of the project include Sitowise, Aalto University, and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. Multidisciplinary interest groups from, e.g., the real estate, construction, energy, logistics and waste management sectors, as well as the building material industry, are involved in the joint development. Data will be shared by using Vastuu Group’s Platform of Trust.
“We will bring to the project the results of multidisciplinary and long-running research on the management of the carbon footprint and environmental impacts, as well as on the development of business ecosystems”, says Senior Scientist Rita Lavikka from VTT.
“The CKIR unit of the Aalto University School of Business has extensive experience in establishing joint goals within innovation ecosystems and in adopting new operating practices more widely, both on a national and European level. This project will utilise Aalto University’s experience and strengthen the links and compatibility with other national and European operators”, says Director Ilkka Lakaniemi from the CKIR unit of Aalto University School of Business.
In the now launched CO2 DataHub project, around 20 companies and organisations from various fields will participate in workshops organized within the ecosystem during the initial phase.
“Various organisations have set ambitious climate goals in recent years. Achieving these goals requires reliable information about their carbon footprints, as well as measures to decrease them. Whilst many emission sources are well-known, there are still significant uncertainties as regards the carbon footprint of delivery chains and materials, which slows down the process of identifying effective measures to cut emissions. We at Sitowise bring to the project several top experts, who have in-depth understanding of how to specify the carbon footprint in various types of delivery chains. At the same time, we develop tools for knowledge-based management that enable the efficient use of the project results for supporting decision-making that aims at achieving lower levels of carbon emissions”, says Sitowise’s group manager of climate and sustainability services Suvi Monni.
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