The Volvo Environment Prize celebrates 30 years

When Volvo Group founded the Volvo Environment Prize back in 1988, sustainability was still not treated as a priority for most companies. But Volvo Group had already since the early 70’s established ‘environmental care’ as one of its core values and a decision was made to create an award for top environmental scientific achievements that also had an impact on the sustainability agenda.

So, why is the Volvo Group engaging in this?   
“We live in a world in which breakthrough research is providing society with new solutions in various areas, be it in medical treatments such as gene- and immune therapy, or be it in technology areas such as rapid development of artificial intelligence that will change the everyday lives for us all.

For Volvo Group, being pioneers in developing vehicles and machines, with the aim to drive prosperity through transport solutions, it is crucial to collaborate with the research community. A prosperous world needs more transport, and obviously transport that is sustainable”, says Niklas Gustafsson, Chief Sustainability Officer of Volvo Group.

Groundbreaking solutions
Volvo Group is already introducing groundbreaking transport solutions together with customers and partners consisting of autonomous, electric and fully connected vehicles and machines that contributes to more efficient, safer and cleaner transportation.

When the award now celebrates 30 years, it has become one of the scientific world’s most respected environmental prizes, mainly because of the impact so many winners have had in the creation of the modern sustainability agenda.

“At Volvo we believe in science. The fact that the award-winners are always chosen by a scientific jury independent from Volvo Group has worked very well. We are proud to participate, and this prize is more relevant than ever”, says Martin Lundstedt, President and CEO of Volvo Group.

Outstanding research
The winners that have been selected by the jury after careful consideration have done outstanding research – some of them have even done such crucial research that they later on have been rewarded with the Nobel Prize. One of them is the atmospheric scientist Paul Crutzen, who received the Volvo Environment Prize in 1991.

Four years later, in 1995, he was awarded with the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his findings on the ozone layer. Another one is the economist Muhammad Yunus who was rewarded with the Volvo Environment Prize in 2002 for his work on how to tackle poverty and create jobs through microfinancing. Four years later, in 2006, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Top issue
Today, climate change is all over the news but that has not always been the case. One of the scientists who made climate change a top issue is Susan Salomon. She made ground-breaking work in the UN climate panel, IPCC, and received the Volvo Environment Prize in 2009.

Over the 30 years of the award, the view on environmental issues have changed, according to Professor Carl Folke, chairman of the scientific committee of the Volvo Environment Prize Foundation. “We have witnessed a big mind shift. There is now a strong recognition that we humans are completely dependent on the thin biosphere that we are embedded in. That recognition is moving really fast in society, especially in the business community”.

This year’s winner of the Volvo Environment Prize will be announced October 7 and the award ceremony takes place in Stockholm November 7.

In this video, Martin Lundstedt, CEO Volvo Group, explains why this is an important prize.

This is Volvo Environment Prize
The Volvo Environment Prize is an independent foundation instituted in 1988 with the purpose of rewarding outstanding scientific discoveries or innovations which in broad terms fall within the environmental field.

Read more here about the Volvo Environment Prize.

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