Volvo’s engine factory in Skövde, Sweden, has become the company’s first climate-neutral manufacturing plant, having switched to renewable heating on 01 Jan.
Skövde is the first plant in Volvo’s global manufacturing network to reach this status, which the company says marks a significant step towards its vision of having climate-neutral global manufacturing operations by 2025. Skövde also becomes one of only a few climate-neutral automotive plants in Europe.
Volvo’s New Zealand general manager Coby Duggan says the company’s sustainability strategy has evolved rapidly in recent years.
“The move towards climate-neutral manufacturing is a key one and proves that Volvo’s commitment to the environment runs deeper than vehicle emissions alone. The temperature in Skövde is usually below freezing point at this time of year and requires a significant amount of energy to heat. By moving to a renewable energy source the plant is expected to reduce their CO2 emissions by thousands of tonnes annually.”
Javier Varela, senior vice president of manufacturing and logistics at Volvo says improving energy efficiency is car maker’s first priority. He said the Skövde plant achievement is an important addition to the company’s broader efforts in minimising its environmental footprint.
A new agreement between Volvo and the local provider ensures that all heating supplied to the Skövde plant is generated from waste incineration, biomass and recycled biofuels. Since 2008, along with the company’s other European plants, its Skövde site’s electricity supply already comes from renewable sources.
Stuart Templar, director for sustainability, said environmental care is one of Volvo’s core values and climate-neutral manufacturing operations will significantly reduce its overall carbon footprint, supporting global efforts to tackle climate change. In 2016, the production plant in Ghent, Belgium, introduced a district heating system that reduced carbon emissions by 40 percent, saving 15,000 tonnes of CO2 per year. The car-maker also plans to electrify all new Volvo cars launched from 2019.