Carbon Footprinting for Sensible Greenhouse Gas Reduction Targets Toward Net Zero

Overview

As the voice of the greater Volkswagen (VW) Group, the VW communications department plays a special role in helping to achieve a net-zero emissions target.

The VW communications department commissioned Sphera to calculate its carbon footprint to:

  • identify emissions reduction actions for its own activities
  • inspire the communication departments of the other VW brands
  • play its part in decarbonizing the entire VW group

In this process VW communications needed to determine sensible boundaries for the departmental carbon footprint. The challenge is to grasp all emissions that are directly or indirectly caused by the VW communication department’s activities.

volkswagen_group
globe

Founded in: 1937

house

German multinational automotive manufacturing company

location

Wolfsburg, Germany (HQ)

Volkswagen’s Challenges

Unknown frameworks for emissions

calculation and allocation methods for single department

Actual activities that cause emissions

are difficult to distinguish from the VW group

Unknown emission

hot spot and levers for reductions

Consideration of a diverse set

of activities that require different emissions calculation methods

Solution

Sphera’s Sustainability Consulting

Sphera’s extensive expertise in the automotive sector and its expertise in methodologies for greenhouse gas (GHG) accounting, the calculation of corporate carbon footprints and access to the life-cycle emissions factor database (GaBi) made Sphera the perfect fit.

“Despite the complexity of everything we do, Sphera’s consultants helped us manage our emissions holistically, identifying hotspots and building a strategic basis for achieving our goal of zero emissions.”

Robin Aschhoff, CEO Volkswagen Communication, Volkswagen AG

Results

In collaboration with the various communications department divisions, Sphera’s sustainability consultants compiled all emission-relevant activities and made sensible assumptions using best practice approaches. The carbon footprint was calculated in accordance with the GHG Protocol standard by applying primary emission factors from Sphera’s Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) database GaBi, emission factors from economic input-output databases and third-party emission factor databases. Following the calculation, Sphera identified emission hotspots and assessed relevant areas for emissions, helping the VW communication department target relevant areas for reducing emissions.

Collected

Collected all emission–relevant activity data

selected

Transparently selected methods

calculated

Calculated carbon footprint

identified

Identified hotspots

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