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Solar energy makes Volvo dealers climate-neutral

Volvo Trucks has inaugurated its first climate-neutral dealership facility. The inauguration took place in Verona, Italy. With the help of solar cells on the building’s roof, more energy will be produced than is needed to heat up the offices and workshops.
Solar energy makes Volvo dealers climate-neutral
“When we decided to build an entirely new facility, we wanted to make sure we integrated pro-environmental technologies from the ground up,” says Marco Lazzoni, Managing Director of Volvo Trucks’ operations in Italy. “And what is cleaner than solar energy?”

Green electricity
Solar energy produced at the Volvo Truck Center in Verona will be supplied to the local power grid, thus generating an income from the electricity that the dealership facility itself does not need. In return, the dealership will only purchase green electricity from solar, wind-power or hydro-power sources. Heating of the premises will take place using fossil methane gas. However, the surplus electricity that the solar panels generate more than compensates for the carbon dioxide emissions caused by burning the methane gas.

Climate-neutral operation
“Here at Volvo Trucks we work intensively to ensure that ever-increasing proportions of our operations are climate-neutral. With the new facility, we’re carrying our dedication to the climate out to the dealership level,” says Lars Mårtensson, environment affairs manager at Volvo Trucks.

Volvo Trucks’ aim is that more dealers should follow Verona’s example. It is not likely that all will follow the path of solar cells, but there are alternative ways to proceed.

“Energy efficiency and a larger proportion of energy from alternative sources are the foundation of our work. The exact measures that are most suitable for implementation are determined by local conditions.”

        
Over the past few years, Volvo Trucks has implemented a range of measures that help reduce the environmental imprint of its operations and products. For instance, the company’s largest production facility in Ghent in Belgium became the world’s first climate-neutral vehicle factory in 2007. That same year, Volvo Trucks demonstrated 7 trucks each running on a different renewable fuel. This past spring the world’s first heavy-duty hybrid refuse trucks were handed over to customers for field testing.

“These activities show that even a player in heavy industry can reduce climate impact to a major extent – from both its products and its facilities. What is more, we have several additional factories that will also soon become climate-neutral,” says Lars Mårtensson. 

June 15, 2008

For further information, please contact:
Marie Vassiliadis, phone +46 31 322 41 27, e-mail
marie.vassiliadis@volvo.com

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