How does this sound to you: Cargotec has set an ambitious climate target and wants to halve CO2 emissions across the supply chain by 2030 (base year 2019). Pretty inspiring, isn’t it?

Simply the share of raw material extraction and component production for the Cargotec products counts around 40% of total CO2 emissions. It is useful to remember that generally speaking 70-90% of companies’ CO2 emissions are formed in the supply chain, use and end-of-use phases (called scope 3 upstream and downstream emissions).

For Cargotec to reach the above-mentioned climate goal and tackle scope 3 emissions, various circular strategies are required. As a well-known statement goes, 80% of product’s environmental impact is determined at design stage.

How products are designed, manufactured and used, and how multiple lifecycle thinking is embedded in service offering from the outset are crucial starting points for further development. In addition, material choices play a critical role; selecting low-carbon and circular materials including how they are sourced and used, should be part of the solution toolbox. For example, recycled steel generates over 60% less emissions than primary steel (1,2kgCO2e/kg compared to 3,3kgCO2e/kg).

We recently held a webinar with the Cargotec staff to further explore what is actually meant by circular business, what the business benefits are and how different circular strategies for Cargotec look like.  We talked about the topics such as the concept of decoupling growth from the use of virgin raw materials and resources, and how circularity could be embedded into Cargotec’s Sustainable by Design approach.

After the webinar we sat down with Päivi Koivisto, Sustainability Director.

Cargotec is in a good position to move towards circularity. What are the steps you’ve already taken as a company?

Sustainability is a fundamental part of Cargotec’s strategy. We are particularly focusing on making a difference in climate matters. We have set ambitious long-term and short-term goals and are measuring our success through C02 equivalent reductions and growth of eco portfolio sales. As the majority of our emissions come from the use phase of our product, that is our focal point in innovation. We want to help our customers in their sustainability journey by offering new sustainable products and services. One concrete example of this is Kalmar’s fully electric portfolio, which was launched in December 2021. We are also revising the criteria of eco portfolio to align with the EU Taxonomy.

In addition to climate targets, what are your drivers to develop your operations? And regarding future opportunities, is there something in the pipeline that you could tell us about?

If we look at our climate targets and actions, one of the most exciting collaborations we have ongoing is with SSAB with whom we are working to pioneer fossil-free steel in the cargo-handling industry. In addition to our climate actions, we are working on many other sustainability topics. We want to partner with our suppliers in order to achieve our ambitious climate targets but also to make the whole supply chain more responsible. As one example, we recently joined the Responsible Minerals Initiative in order to be better positioned to address the responsible minerals sourcing issue in our supply chain.

How do you see Cargotec’s future, will it be circular?

Yes, definitely. Circularity and circular business models are needed to achieve our climate targets. Circularity helps to eliminate waste from our value chains, i.e. make them more resource and energy efficient. We are looking into opportunities to make our product portfolio and business models more circular and by doing so reduce the environmental footprint and create more value for our customers.