Photo: Norwegian Maritime Authority

More realistic EPD calculations for maritime transport

Norway has ambitious goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the transport sector. In order to prioritize efficiently between the use of different modes of transport in transport assignments, it is essential to have tools that can accurately calculate emissions from the entire life cycle of products, including emissions associated with different transport solutions with associated different capacities and technologies.

The Norwegian Public Roads Administration, along with other purchasers of transport services in construction, is increasingly rewarding low emissions when awarding contracts. To assess tenders and award contracts, Environment Product Declarations (EPD) are used, which are provided by the tenderers and document the emissions associated with the life cycle or parts of the life cycle of the delivered product.

Today’s tools for calculating EPDs are not good enough when maritime transport is to be used. The tool does not adequately reflect the ships’ actual emissions – this applies in general, but especially when new zero- and low-emission ships can be offered.

Such inadequate documentation means that climate-friendly shipping is not rewarded when contracts are awarded.

GSP has access to a climate calculator and EPD calculator. These – together with methods for accurate calculation of emissions data, in combination with updated and realistic data for representative ships for the assignment – could probably be used to establish a good factual basis.

Goal of the pilot project

Through the pilot study, the participants want to create more realistic EPD calculations for maritime transport (EPD – Environmental Product Declaration).

The study will test and evaluate methods, tools and vessel databases in a realistic project for mass transport.

The quality of current climate weighting and emission costs in tender competitions (calculation and actual emissions) will also be emphasized.

The tool will then form the basis for the choice of transport solution.

The government is in the process of establishing climate partnerships with three particularly important Norwegian industries. The maritime industry and the construction industry are two of these three. The pilot study will help to put a practical focus on the interface between these two and thus contribute to the success of the climate partnership.

Final goal of the pilot

The final goal of the pilot is to establish a tool for accurate calculation of EPDs for both sea and road transport. The tool should be applicable in both the tendering and implementation phase.

The aim is for the tool to be:

  • Accurate
  • Fast
  • Simple

And thus become a preferred tool for the entire building and construction industry.

In sum, the tool will ensure that the EPDs reflect the actual emissions of maritime transport and, as a result, make it profitable for contractors and transporters to invest in climate reductions.

Status of the pilot

In the planning phase, the pilot has decided to use specific case scenarios for truck-based and sea-based transport of asphalt, concrete and salt.

October 2023

The pilot has recently started. There is still opportunity for other partners to join.

April 2024

The pilot is working on work package 2 (EPD analyses). The pilot’s goal is to present a proposal for a new tool in the fall of 2024, which can then be used in 2025, and then develop a full-scale calculator. Further work will be to get template and actual ships in place during the summer of 2024.


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