What is the ERA calculator?

27 January 2021

In 2018, ERA (European Rental Association) launched a research project called "Carbon Footprint of Construction Equipment". The ERA Equipment CO2 calculator can be used to evaluate and calculate the impact of one machine and/or the climate impact of the entire machine park. You want to calculate this to determine the total CO2 footprint of all machines on a specific construction site (Khl, 2020).

The ERA calculator started as a project. The results of the project were presented by two research companies Climate Neutral Group and CE Delft at the last ERA meeting in Madrid. They showed how the carbon footprint can provide insights to reduce the environmental impact of construction equipment. For example, it was emphasized that compared to other less efficient use cases, construction equipment can be used effectively (with high utilization, optimized transport, etc.) This can significantly reduce the carbon footprint of the equipment life cycle.

These concepts are based on calculations in the first edition of the carbon footprint screening tool, which contains life cycle information for ten construction equipment.

The aim of ERA was to develop a user-friendly CO2 calculator for construction machinery. The intended users are leasing companies, OEMs and contractors. The calculator provides insight into the environmental impact of equipment throughout its life cycle, allowing users to identify environmental hotspots and investigate how changes in use will affect their carbon footprint. For example, a large part of the construction sector can participate in simple environmental analyses.

How does the ERA calculator work?
The ERA CO2 calculator asks for basic information about machine functions and usage through six simple steps: machine production, transport, life and use, energy consumption, maintenance and scrap. This information is combined with background data to calculate the CO2 footprint of the machine over its life cycle, as well as the total CO2 footprint used per hour and the carbon footprint broken down by parameters (Construction Equipment, 2021)

Registered users can save their calculations for later use. These calculations were developed by CE Delft, an independent research and consultancy firm. A second version of the calculator will be developed in the coming months, which will allow users to directly compare two different situations.

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