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Lännen studied the carbon footprint of a multipurpose machine. In addition to the carbon footprint, the work productivity and fuel consumption of different types of machines were compared.

Emissions in the operational phase are the key factor

The carbon footprint of the Lännen multipurpose machine over its entire life cycle is 278 t CO2e. The technical life of the machine was calculated to be 8000 hours. The most significant part of the machine's carbon footprint, 84%, was generated during the operating phase. The second largest proportion, 14%, came from the manufacturing and transport of materials and components to the factory. Manufacturing accounted for 1% of the carbon footprint of the whole life cycle of the machine, and the same 1% of the carbon footprint came from the recycling phase.

The greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced by 82% by using renewable fuels (HVO) instead of fossil fuels. This will reduce the carbon footprint of the entire life cycle by 70% to 85 t CO2e. The use of renewable fuels is therefore the single most important CO2 emission reduction factor in the operating phase of an internal combustion engine driven machine.


Comparison with theoretical examples

The carbon footprint of the multipurpose Lännen was also compared to other machines used for similar tasks; excavator + wheel loader combinations and related transport solutions. The comparison was made on a Cradle-to-Grave basis, i.e. the carbon footprint of the machinery took into account the whole life cycle of the machine; from manufacture through use to disposal.

The lack of carbon footprint calculations for alternative machinery made the comparison difficult. The carbon footprints of the other machines were therefore estimated using Lännen carbon footprint calculations, assuming that the other machines weighed the same and contained similar materials in the same proportions. Similarly, in the absence of more detailed data, the excavation and loading productivity and fuel consumption per hour of the compared machines were estimated to be the same in terms of work tasks and transfer times.

For the comparison of the carbon footprint, seven theoretical work sets of 1 to 2 working days were constructed, consisting of either digging or digging and loading operations. The number of work steps and sites included in the work sets ranged from one to five and the sites were located 30-45 min from the depot and from each other. More details on the work projects can be found in the larger downloadable article.


Lower carbon footprint compared to single-purpose machines

The carbon footprint of a multipurpose machine was, based on the assumptions mentioned above, on average 8 to 14% lower than that of single-purpose machines. At a minimum, the difference was 0% when the work projects contained only one task at one site and at a maximum, the difference was 16 to 21% when the work projects contained several different tasks at several sites. The strength of the multipurpose Lännen thus became apparent as the tasks of the work site became more diversified and the work project of several work sites became more complex. In contrast, in a single and long-term job, the versatility and mobility of the multipurpose machine did not bring additional benefits. 

So where did the calculated differences between the machines come from? For a single job, the carbon footprints of the machines were the same due to the equal weight of all the machines in the analysis (13 tn), the same fuel consumption per hour of work and/or transport performed by all the machines, and the same labour productivity of all the machines.The calculated differences in the carbon footprints correlated directly with the number of machines needed on the work sites and for transfers and with the transfer speed between work sites.


Better productivity and energy efficiency

In addition to the carbon footprint, the example work projects also looked theoretically at the overall productivity and economy of work for different types of machines in terms of manpower and fuel consumption. No differences were found for individual tasks as the productivity and fuel consumption of excavation and loading work was assumed to be the same, regardless of the type of machine.  

However, differences arose when transport arrangements and transfer journeys were included in the analysis. Under these assumptions, the fuel consumption per work unit of a multipurpose machine was on average 8% (range 0 to 16%) lower than that of a single-purpose machine and the productivity of manpower was on average 12% (range 3 to 24%) higher. The advantages of a multipurpose machine were based on lower machine transport needs, less preparation for transport and higher transfer speeds between work sites.


Theoretical examples in practice

All the above analyses and calculations were based on theoretical work projects and initial assumptions about the equalisation of machinery in terms of machine weights, excavation and loading productivity and fuel consumption. Different starting values for these factors would change the results of the analysis accordingly. 

However, the theoretical considerations were intended to test the old adage "the right machine for the right job". We believe that this was also successful; the strength of single-purpose machines becomes apparent in single task, longer duration jobs. In these work projects, the productivity of single-purpose machines is also higher than the equalisation used in this analysis and they are therefore a justified choice for these work projects.



The strength of a multipurpose machine comes to the surface again when individual work projects contain several tasks and/or when work projects consist of several separate work sites. The strength of a multipurpose machine is also its year-round operation, which easily increases the utilisation rate of the machine well above that of single-purpose machines, which contributes to the machine's economy and productivity.


The calculation of the Lännen carbon footprint was based on the international GHG Protocol's Product Life Cycle Accounting and Reporting standard. The emissions of the Lännen multipurpose machine were calculated over the life cycle of the machine (Cradle-to-Grave); starting with the production of raw materials and their transport to the factory, continuing with the manufacture of the machine and its transport to the customer, and the use of the machine, ending with the disposal of the machine, i.e. in practice the recycling of materials.


Download the carbon footprint study

In the study you will find a more extensive report on the carbon footprint study with its results. Comparative calculations and their background to the life cycle stages of the multipurpose Lännen, as well as more detailed results and descriptions of productivity and economic comparisons of the Lännen against single-purpose machines.



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