PNO Rental moves toward net zero with Normative

Customer story

5. Aug 2022

PNO Trucks

The international trailer rental company uses Normative to measure and compensate emissions.

Evan Farbstein Headshot

Evan Farbstein

Content Writer

Read bio
Tristan McCarthy

Tristan McCarthy

Product Manager

Headshot of Solvej Lee Ørnstrand

Solvej Lee Ørnstrand

Head of People, Communication, and Sustainability at PNO

Table of Contents

Family-owned since its founding in 1975, PNO Rental has stayed true to its values through its nearly 50-year history.

Among those values is responsibility. And in 2018, the Denmark-based trailer rental company updated its purpose statement to clarify what taking responsibility means to them: 

“PNO will lead the transition to sustainable freight through people, planet, and profit.”

Here’s how PNO is delivering on that promise, with support from Normative.

Leading the transition

PNO had already done a significant amount of sustainability work before coming to Normative.

The company had become the first Certified B Corporation in its industry, and had set the target of achieving net zero emissions by 2030.

For each of the seven countries PNO operated in, a green ambassador had been nominated to lead local initiatives. These initiatives included water and paper reduction, the adoption of renewable energy, and the transition to an electric fleet.

But there was still work to be done to meet PNO’s climate goals. Vitally, the company needed to begin measuring its value chain emissions.

PNO only measured scope 1 and scope 2 emissions – leaving out the tricky-to-measure scope 3 emissions, which on average account for 92% of a business’s carbon footprint. 

Getting emissions data from suppliers is hard

In 2021, PNO turned to Normative for help measuring its scope 3 emissions.

Normative did an initial spend-based scope 3 measurement using a database of over 30 million data points. This measurement could then be refined with activity-based data gleaned directly from the suppliers, such as the emissions related to producing the trailers that PNO purchases.

But gathering this data from suppliers is no small feat. Most suppliers don’t have emissions data on hand, and don’t necessarily know where to find it.

Climate strategists from Normative joined conversations between PNO and several suppliers to explain the value of measuring emissions, what kind of data was needed, and how to find it. 

“It does help to have a third party ask for this information from your suppliers,” said Solvej Lee Ørnstrand, who was leading PNO’s effort to gather supplier emissions data. “We shouldn’t just throw requirements at suppliers. We need to go on this journey together, and support them however we can.”

PNO’s supplier engagement, at a glance

  • Countries: 6
  • Suppliers: 4
  • Industries: Tire and trailer manufacturing
  • Scope 3 Capital Goods emissions
    measured by Normative: 10,300 tonnes of CO2-eq
  • Capital Goods expenditure assessed
    using activity data:  24.5%

    From 2020 reporting year

Normative’s team has been a tremendous help in getting emissions data from suppliers.

Solvej Lee Ørnstrand, Head of People, Communication, and Sustainability at PNO

The sustainability results

Like most companies, PNO will need to use climate investment – high-quality carbon removal – to reach net zero emissions.

After PNO used Normative to gain a more comprehensive and accurate measure of its emissions, the rental company totaled up its operational impact – which includes scope 1, scope 2, business travel, water, and paper emissions – for the period between 2019 and 2021. It determined it had 271.10 tons of carbon to compensate. This total was the launching-off point for PNO’s climate investment.

Making progress toward net zero

 Working with Normative’s climate strategy team, PNO identified four carbon removal methods to use: kelp sequestration, enhanced weathering, biochar, and concrete mineralization.

Normative helped us find the carbon removal methods at the forefront of the technology.

Solvej Lee Ørnstrand, Head of People, Communication, and Sustainability at PNO

The business results

Within the company, PNO places a strong emphasis on sustainability. PNO uses its B Corp certification as an internal framework, and high-level management’s performance bonuses are tied to sustainability metrics.

The company’s emphasis on sustainability is also highlighted in their recruitment work.

“It’s very important that our team knows what we’re doing and why we’re doing it,” says Solvej Lee Ørnstrand. “We are very vocal about our purpose. It’s part of being a responsible company, and part of the core of what we do.”

PNO is keeping a close watch on the trends in their industry. And one of those trends is that customers increasingly demand sustainable products and services.

Staying ahead of the curve

“We like to be many steps ahead of what’s going to happen,” said Solvej Lee Ørnstrand. “We should also be steps ahead when it comes to giving our customers the emissions cost of their orders. And if they’re business customers, they can then give this emission data to their own customers, and pass the sustainability value along every step in the chain. We don’t want to wait for our customers to ask – we want to provide it to them from the start.”

Solvej envisions a future where every PNO customer will know the carbon cost of their rental alongside the financial cost. 

With PNO’s dedication to climate responsibility and Normative’s carbon accounting expertise, that future might not be so far away.

We see Normative not as a consultancy, but as a partnership. They’re involved in our customer dialogues, and are part of helping us find the challenges and the solutions.

Solvej Lee Ørnstrand, Head of People, Communication, and Sustainability at PNO

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