In order to stop climate change, our emissions of greenhouse gases must be dramatically decreased - from currently around seven tonnes per person and year to one tonne in the future.
Today sees the launch of a world-first - a unique test in which a couple with young children will try to achieve the one-tonne emission level yet at the same time live a regular life.
The "One Tonne Life" project has been initiated by three Swedish companies: A-hus, Vattenfall and Volvo Cars.
Imagine living in a climate-smart house with solar cells on the roof that are used to recharge the electric car parked in the driveway. This will soon be reality for a selected test family who has the lead role in the "One Tonne Life" project.
"One Tonne Life" will demonstrate in concrete terms what it means for a family to live with a small carbon dioxide footprint. With the right know-how, the right technology and a consistent attitude, we believe it is possible to approach the one-tonne target already today - and without making any major sacrifices to one's regular lifestyle," says Torbjörn Wahlborg, Managing Director of energy provider Vattenfall Nordic Region.
"Much of the technology and the solutions we are giving the family are already available to the public, or will be in the very near future. So in other words, this is no far-fetched science-fiction project but rather utilisation of what is ready, here and now."
Climate-smart society in miniature
Together the three partners in the "One Tonne Life" project will create a household where the test family's emissions will be able to be reduced, approaching one tonne per person and year. It's a big challenge bearing in mind that the current global average is about seven tonnes.
Experts from the Chalmers University of Technology will take part in the project in order to ensure a reliable calculation of the family´s carbon dioxide emissions.
The "One Tonne Life" project has three main components:
- An energy-efficient house built by wooden house experts A-hus to plans drawn up by architect Gert Wingårdh.
- A battery-powered Volvo C30 DRIVe Electric that is recharged using renewable energy.
- Vattenfall will equip the house with smart new technology to measure the family's electricity consumption in real time and will provide expertise on how the family can use energy in the most efficient way. Vattenfall will also provide solar cell technology developed by a subsidiary company and supply renewable windpower and hydropower electricity via the mains power grid.
Test family wanted
The house is currently being constructed in Hässelby Villastad in the western parts of Stockholm and now the hunt for a family to move in and live in the new house for six months starting in early 2011.
"As a manufacturer of wooden houses, we have a strong ambition to drive the development of climate- and energy-efficient housing and to find attractive concepts for home buyers. The house design being used in "One Tonne Life" will be on the open market shortly and the experiences and knowledge we gain by participating in this exciting project will be important for us in the development of tomorrow's homes," says A-hus Managing Director Peter Mossbrant.
In parallel with the new house in Hässelby, another two villas will be built in the Göteborg and Stockholm regions for use as show homes. In Stockholm, the new houses give added spice to the Swedish capital's role as Green Capital of Europe 2010. Environmental experts from the city of Stockholm will help calculating and evaluating the family´s carbon footprint together with Chalmers.
"History is full of examples of how obstacles that were once regarded as impossible have been passed thanks to human innovativeness and decisiveness. However, no industry or organisation can tackle the climate challenge on its own. That is why our "One Tonne Life" partnership is important - it helps us progress from individual carbon dioxide-lean products to a well-thought-out and climate-smart lifestyle," says Olle Axelson, Senior Vice President Public Affairs at Volvo Cars.
For more information please contact:
Petra Cederhed, A-hus, phone: +46 (0)340-66 65 10, e-mail: email@example.com
Mikael Björnér, Vattenfall, phone: +46 (0)730-54 82 29, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Malin Persson, Volvo Car Corporation, phone: +46 (0)31-325 41 52, e-mail: email@example.com
Or visit www.onetonnelife.com