Carbon footprint

In collaboration with Climate Services, audits are conducted every year on the bluefactory site to measure its carbon impact. Since 2015, CO₂ emissions per FTE (full-time equivalent) have been reduced by 60%. Between 2019 and 2020, the total emissions generated by the site decreased by 49% to 196 tons of CO₂. This result is notably due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on mobility, with business trips falling by 85% and commuting by 41%.

Context

By ratifying the Paris Agreement, Switzerland has committed to halving its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. Based on the latest work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the Confederation revised its ambitions upwards in 2019 to achieve net zero carbon status by 2050. This implies that in future the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere must not exceed the absorption capacity of nature (forests, soil) and artificial reservoirs (construction timber, CO₂ capture and storage, CO₂ capture and use).

Strategy

BFF AG’s strategy is in line with the Confederation’s climate policy. Since 2017, the bluefactory site has been powered by renewable energies. Emissions from heating systems and electrical installations are fully offset by an export of photovoltaic energy – equivalent in CO₂ emissions – to the electricity grid. The entire site consumes green electricity and heating is provided by heat pumps. Electric mobility is facilitated with charging stations and an electric car is available to site tenants for business trips.

Methodology

Based on the development planned up to 2050, a modelling of the site’s evolution shows that mobility and grey energy related to new construction present the main CO₂ emissions challenge. Initially, the carbon footprint increase will be linked to a growth in mobility, accounting for two-thirds of all emissions in the area. This impact will then gradually diminish with the electrification of the vehicle fleet and the site’s planned minimisation measures. With new construction, grey energy use will increase, impacting the entire life of buildings well beyond 2050.

Action Plan

For the site’s stakeholders in general and BFF SA in particular, it is a question of continuing to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Any new construction or renovation will therefore require techniques and materials that meet defined construction and operational objectives (SETUP project). As far as mobility is concerned, the car fleet will be increasingly electrified and limited.

BFF SA collaborates with the University of Engineering and Architecture (HEIA-FR) and industrial partners not only to stimulate new thinking, but above all to develop processes and operational tools more in line with its needs. With the SETUP PRO project, it will benefit from a methodology for determining a carbon budget for the entire site, compatible with the 2050 net-zero carbon objective and according to a defined storage allocation beyond the site’s boundaries.

BFF SA has always worked proactively to mitigate greenhouse gases. The buildings it has initiated will determine the site’s greenhouse gas emissions for the coming decades. Working to ambitious objectives, the company must ensure that the appropriate indicators are put in place and monitored not only in its annual reporting but also in each phase of construction. To achieve this, it follows the Confederation’s Energy Strategy 2050. It also works in conjunction with the canton of Fribourg’s climate plan through essential projects such as water management, the built environment and the fight against urban warming, mobility, and energy consumption.

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