Volvo Cars' engine factory in Skövde, Sweden, has become the company's first climate-neutral manufacturing plant, having switched to renewable heating on January 1.
The car manufacturer noted that this marked 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.
"Improving energy efficiency is our first priority and then, for the energy we need to use, we aim for supplies generated from renewable sources," says Volvo Cars manufacturing and logistics senior VP Javier Varela.
"The Skövde plant achievement is an important addition to our broader efforts in reducing our environmental footprint. We are pleased to be a leader within the automotive industry in the move towards climate-neutral manufacturing."
A new agreement between Volvo Cars and the local provider ensures that all heating supplied to the Skövde plant is generated from waste incineration, biomass and recycled biofuels.
The Skövde site, along with the company's other European plants, have, since 2008, sourced their electricity supply from renewable sources.
"This is a proud moment both for the Skövde plant and for Volvo Cars," said Volvo sustainability director Stuart Templar.
"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 move towards its 2025 vision. For example, in 2016, the production plant in Ghent, Belgium, introduced a district heating system that reduced carbon emissions by 40%, saving 15 000 t/y of carbon dioxide emissions.
"We will continue to work actively with our energy suppliers in all regions to secure further access to renewable energy for our manufacturing plants," Varela added.