Volvo factory goes climate neutral

Volvo’s engine factory in Skövde, Sweden, has become the company’s first climate-neutral manufacturing plant after it switched to renewable heating on 1 January 2018.

Skövde is the first plant in Volvo Cars’ global manufacturing network to reach this status, which marks a significant step towards the company’s vision of having climate-neutral global manufacturing operations by 2025.

It also makes Skövde one of only a few climate-neutral automotive plants in Europe, says Volvo.

“Improving energy efficiency is our first priority and then, for the energy we need to use, we aim for supplies generated from renewable sources,” said Javier Varela, senior vice president at Volvo Cars.

“The Skövde plant achievement is an important addition to our broader efforts in minimising our environmental footprint.”

Volvo signed an agreement with a local provider to ensure that all heating supplied to the Skövde plant is generated from waste incineration, biomass and recycled bio-fuels. The Skövde site’s electricity supply has come from renewable sources since 2008, like Volvo’s other European plants.

“Environmental care is one of our core values,” emphasized Stuart Templar, sustainability director at Volvo.

“Along with our plan to electrify all new Volvo cars launched from 2019, climate-neutral manufacturing operations will significantly reduce our overall carbon footprint, supporting global efforts to tackle climate change.”

One example of this is its production plant in Ghent, Belgium, which in 2016 introduced a district heating system that reduced carbon emissions by 40 per cent, saving 15,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.

Image credit: Volvo Cars

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