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The One Tonne Life project three years on: Pilot project enables climate-smart lifestyle

The One Tonne Life project three years on:

Pilot project enables climate-smart lifestyle


Three years on from the end of One Tonne Life, this ground-breaking project, initiated by A-hus, Vattenfall and Volvo Cars, has inspired a growing number of people to choose products that help them lead a climate-smart lifestyle. One example of these active choices is the Jogensjö family, with dad Jon, mum Tina and son Nils, who are now enjoying a comfortable, low-carbon lifestyle in the house that was at the heart of the One Tonne Life project.


“We’ve always believed in respecting the environment in our day-to-day lives. But we’ve still been pleasantly surprised by how easy and comfortable a climate-smart life is if you combine your environmental commitment with the latest technology,” says Tina Jogensjö, who works as a creative producer at Unicef.


One Tonne Life gained a lot of media and public attention in 2010 and 2011. The project involved the cooperation of A-hus, Vattenfall and Volvo Cars, together with partners ICA and Siemens, to create a climate-smart life for the Lindell family (with dad Nils, mum Alicja and children Hannah and Jonathan). The test period saw the Lindells cut their emissions from their normal 7.3 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year per person to 1.5 tonnes. 

The Jogensjö family with their Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid

“We were interested and followed the One Tonne Life project through the media. The 80 per cent reduction in the Lindell family’s carbon emissions showed that it’s possible to make a real difference given the right motivation, know-how and technology. We estimate that we generate around half the carbon dioxide of an average Swedish family, but without compromising on our quality of life,” says Tina Jogensjö.

Love at first sight

The Jogensjö family immediately fell in love with the house’s stylish design, space and its light interior. The family have been focussing on leading an energy-efficient lifestyle since leaving their apartment in central Stockholm for the 155 square metre One Tonne Life house, which was developed by A-hus and designed by Gert Wingårdh.


“We’re able to live a completely normal suburban life, but the bonus is that we live in Sweden’s most climate-smart house,” says Tina.


Vattenfall’s web-based EnergyWatch electricity metre and the company’s Smart Plug sockets provide the family with control over their electricity consumption. And surplus electricity generated by the house’s 95 square metres of solar panels on the facade and roof is sold to the family’s electricity provider.


“The house is already outstandingly energy-efficient. But being able to measure electricity consumption in real time gives us an additional incentive to find areas where we can save a bit more. For example, we’ve discovered that Jon, who’s the one usually nagging me and Nils, showers for far too long,” laughs Tina Jogensjö. “Luckily we’ve also got solar thermal collectors on the garage roof, which provide hot water.”

Family trips powered by home-generated solar electricity

The family have been testing out a Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid, which they charge on their driveway using Vattenfall’s specially designed charging station. Tina Jogensjö travels to work at Unicef in central Stockholm by electric bike, but the plug-in hybrid has made it easy to visit friends and family on weekends.


“Being able to drive a comfortable and spacious family car powered by solar electricity generated at home is very cool. The range of up to 50 kilometres means I can easily drive a 40 kilometres round trip to central Stockholm without the diesel engine kicking in. And plugging the car in at home is easier than driving to a petrol station,” says Tina.


“I like to try to go a little further in pure electric mode each time I drive the car. And it also means my driving style is a little more calm and efficient,” says Jon.


A-hus – a leader in climate-smart homes

For the project’s founders, A-hus, Vattenfall and Volvo Cars, the experience from One Tonne Life has provided further inspiration and motivation to develop new products. A-hus is a leader in developing climate-smart homes with a focus on design and comfort.


“Our houses are more energy-efficient than current energy standards, no matter if they have a modern or traditional design. One Tonne Life is helping us take the next steps in our development of energy-efficient homes and to increase knowledge about climate-smart living,” says Susanne Ström, Marketing Director at A-hus.

Vattenfall – smart solutions for lower energy costs

Based on initiatives such as the One Tonne Life project, Vattenfall has developed a range of new products and solutions for energy-efficient living and a sustainable lifestyle.


“It’s now easy for a lot of households to significantly cut their energy costs and environmental impact by actively monitoring their electricity consumption, using more energy-efficient appliances and changing behaviour. We’re helping the development of electrically powered transport by providing simple charging solutions for both the home and public infrastructure,” says Lars Ejeklint, Energy Expert at Vattenfall.

Volvo Cars – success for ground-breaking plug-in hybrid

The One Tonne Life “test family”, the Lindells, drove a Volvo C30 Electric, the second generation of which was developed together with Siemens, Volvo Cars’ long-term electric cars partner. The project demonstrated that driving an electric car could cut transport-based carbon emissions by 90 per cent.


The Jogensjö family’s test car, a Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid, which has been developed together with Vattenfall, was one of Europe’s best-selling plug-in hybrids in 2013. Later in 2014 the all-new XC90 will also be launched with plug-in hybrid version available.


“Electric cars are a mode of transport that is part of a sustainable society. The plug-in hybrid’s smart combination of an efficient internal combustion engine and an electric motor is our most technically advanced driveline ever. This brings us closer to the goal of offering completely emissions-free driving in the future,” says Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President, Research and Development at Volvo Cars.


Find out more about One Tonne Life at

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