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Förslaget inkom 2006-12-08

Sustainability Assessment of Business Travels at SKF

The environmental effects of business travels are usually not included in the annual reporting of a manufacturing company such as SKF, nor for environmental assessments of its products. There is no question that there are important benefits of such travels, but they account for a significant share of the company’s total greenhouse gas emissions. There is however also other issues related to business travels that are not included in the company accounting, for example lost working time and decreased efficiency of tired employees, as well as social effects on the employees’ private lives. Some driving forces for business travel might also exist in these non-accounted categories e.g. status, networking and sightseeing.

The primary aim of this thesis is to calculate the total emissions to the environment of business travels at SKF. The second aim is to assess the costs and benefits related to all the three aspects of sustainability – economic, environmental and social – of those travels. This assessment in combination with suggestions of alternatives to business travels will assist in future decision making for business travels.

First, a review of the business travels at the company is needed – with departure/arrival destinations and purpose and benefit of travel – so that the total travelling can be estimated and a few standard travels can be selected Second, the total emissions to the environment will be calculated with existing methodology, and other hard figures regarding direct costs and lost working time will be assessed. Third, the effects which are more difficult to quantify will be estimated and discussed, such as decreased working efficiency and social effects. Finally, alternatives for each standard travel of the case study will be suggested, which are more sustainable with regard to the issues mentioned. Depending on the purpose and benefit of the travel different alternatives shall be explained and discussed.

Working with this thesis will give the student(s) the opportunity to work in a creative academic environment and also to collaborate with the multi-national company SKF. The project offers a real problem identified by SKF top management, with a demand for constructive and creative solutions.

The thesis will be a joint project between the Division of Environmental Systems Analysis at Chalmers and the Sustainability group at SKF headquarters in Göteborg. The academic supervisors will be Karl Jonasson and/or Örjan Lundberg. For further information and/or expression of interest, do not hesitate to contact us.

It is desired that the student applying for this thesis has strong knowledge in environmental and sustainability analysis. The thesis is intended for two collaborating students, however a single student might also be considered.

Karl Jonasson [email protected] 031-772 8601

Örjan Lundberg [email protected] 031-772 2170


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