Volvo’s engine factory in Skövde, Sweden, has become the company’s first climate-neutral manufacturing plant, having switched to renewable heating as of January 2018. This marks a significant step toward the company’s vision of having climate-neutral global manufacturing operations by 2025.
The Skövde plant is the first in Volvo Cars’s global manufacturing network to reach this status, and is one of only a few climate-neutral automotive plants in Europe.
“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 of manufacturing and logistics at Volvo Cars.
“The Skövde plant achievement is an important addition to our broader efforts in minimizing our environmental footprint. We are pleased to be a leader within the automotive industry in the move toward climate-neutral manufacturing.”
A new agreement between Volvo Cars and a 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, the Skövde site’s electricity supply has come from renewable sources.
“This is a proud moment both for the Skövde plant and for Volvo Cars,” said Stuart Templar, sustainability director at Volvo Cars. “Environmental care is one of our core values. 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.”
Volvo Cars is constantly looking at innovative ways to achieve its 2025 vision. In 2016, the Ghent production plant in Belgium introduced a district heating system that reduced carbon emissions by 40%, saving 15,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.
“We will continue to work actively with our energy suppliers in all regions to secure further access to renewable energy for our manufacturing plants,” said Varela.