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Construction worker, helmets, laptop Ahlsell

Reduced Environmental Impact

The Reduced Environmental Impact focus area is about reducing the negative impact of our operations on the environment and our surroundings. The climate threat is of course in focus, as are issues such as streamlining and circularity.

Long-term goal: Net zero emissions by 2045

The climate is one of the most important issues of our time. Being able to deliver the same high quality and service, but with a lower environmental impact, is a long-term commitment, as is our other sustainability work. Ahlsell has been working on continuous environmental improvements for many years, but in 2019 and 2020 we took further major steps to address the climate. Among other things, we have committed to the goals of the Paris Agreement and signed up to the construction industry’s Roadmap for Fossil-Free Competitiveness.

Environmental challenges are mainly addressed through three main areas: ​

  • Streamline logistics
  • Waste and Recycling​
  • Reduced energy consumption​

Current figures for the Reduced Environmental Impact focus area

Updated: R12 Q4 2021
Total emissions 2020 (CO2 equivalent in tons): 15,902
Total CO2 equivalent Scope 1* (tons): 332
Total CO2 equivalent Scope 2* (tons): 2,152
Total CO2 equivalent Scope 3* (tons): 13,418
Carbon footprint, CO2 equivalent in tons/SEK million turnover: 0.67
Waste (tons) : 5,794
Hazardous waste (tons)
: 105
Material recycling rate, stores: 59%​
Material recycling rate, logistics center: 88%
Energy consumption 2020 (MWh): 46,680

*GHG Scope 1 includes goods transport by own vehicles, work machinery, refrigerants and heating with oil, gas or pellets
GHG Scope 2 includes district heating, district cooling and electricity.
GHG Scope 3 includes goods transport that Ahlsell pays for, as well as business travel (by company car, private car and air).

Facts about HVO in fossil-free transport


HVO (Hydrogenating Vegetable Oils) is a biofuel that is either mixed with fossil diesel to reduce its climate impact, but can also be used on its own in most modern diesel engines.


Fossil-free fuel reduces emissions
Estimates from producers believe that the fossil-free fuel reduces emissions by up to 90%, while estimates from stakeholder organizations are more cautious and point to more than 75%. However, this depends on the engine and where the raw materials are sourced from. According to the Swedish Energy Agency, 80% of the raw materials in 2016 consisted of vegetable or animal waste oil, PFAD or slaughterhouse waste. Swedish-produced HVO is primarily based on pine oil and waste oil.


Access to raw materials for manufacturing is a challenge for Swedish HVO production
The greatest challenge for Swedish HVO production today is access to raw materials for manufacturing. PFAD – waste products from the palm oil industry – currently accounts for a significant part of the global production of HVO. This has led to warnings about how the palm oil industry's current impact could potentially negate any climate gains made when PFAD is used as a base in HVO. Continued use of PFAD will probably not be sustainable for long-term upscaling.

In Sweden, there are two major HVO suppliers: Preem and Neste. Preem doesn't use palm oil in its production for the Swedish market. Neste, on the other hand, supplies larger quantities than its competitor. They use palm oil but make sure that any PFAD/palm oil used is certified in accordance with RSPO guidelines. At present, it is difficult for an individual company to completely avoid buying large quantities of HVO without palm oil, but as demand increases, so do our options. Ahlsell currently requires that any palm oil (or palm oil residues) in our products must be certified.

Sustainability recycling Ahlsell

Waste and Recycling

Waste management systems in the Nordic region are well developed. Ahlsell engages professional companies to manage our waste, which mainly consists of different types of packaging materials. This means large amounts of corrugated cardboard, wood waste and plastic, but also a high recycling rate for the waste we hand in.


Despite a relatively high recycling rate, we constantly strive to reduce our use of packaging materials and to improve our recycling. ​Within the framework of this area, we are working to reduce packaging sizes, use plastic film from renewable materials and on projects to reduce the use of chemicals. ​For several years, Ahlsell has been using a deposit system to circulate the thousands of pallets that pass in and out of Hallsberg each year.


We also run collaborative projects with our suppliers, which you can read more about under the Innovation and Cooperation focus area. These are partly to identify and phase out unnecessary packaging from the value chain, and also partly projects to reuse our suppliers’ shipping boxes and cartons (instead of discarding and using new ones).

Store energy consumption Ahlsell

Reduced energy consumption

Ahlsell Sweden has more than 100 stores in Sweden and our logistics center is in Hallsberg. They all consume large amounts of energy, which accounts for a significant part of our direct and indirect emissions – our Scope 1 and Scope 2. ​We work with this in two ways. Partly by reducing our energy consumption and partly by increasing the proportion of renewable energy sources for our operations.


When it comes to reducing energy consumption, we work continuously to measure our energy consumption and reduce it within our systematic environmental work, which is certified in accordance with ISO 14001. This includes, among other things, reviewing our lighting to ensure that the most efficient solutions are installed and also reviewing how our premises are heated. Since all our stores are located in premises that we rent, special environmental requirements have been introduced in all new lease agreements to ensure that everything is right from the start. These environmental requirements are also used during lease renegotiations.​


Renewable energy sources are another way of reducing our climate impact. In our central warehouse and most of our stores, energy comes from origin-labeled hydropower. The Ahlsell Group has started experimenting with alternative energy sources, and part of the energy in the central warehouse in Finland comes from solar panels installed on the warehouse's roof. Projects to evaluate similar solutions in Sweden began in 2021.

Our challenges in the Reduced Environmental Impact focus area

Sustainability Global Goal 12 Ahlsell

12. Responsible consumption and production

Responsible extraction and recycling is one of our industry’s major challenges. We need to increase our focus on circular processes and also reward circularity. This requires a gradual phase-out of hazardous substances and any substances that can't be circulated.

Sustainability Global Goal 13 Ahlsell

13. Climate action

The climate is the largest issue of our time. Conducting business in the future will require doing so with a minimal carbon footprint. Ahlsell aims to halve its CO2 emissions from 2016 to 2030 and be fossil free by 2045.

Our other focus areas

Message from Ahlsell

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