The Volvo Group, in conjunction with WWF, held a Climate Savers 2015 China Annual conference in Sanya, China in conjunction with the Volvo Ocean Race to discuss the role of the private sector in accelerating progress in carbon reduction.
“Corporations like Volvo have made it clear that they don’t want to remain part of the problem and not just be a part of the solution, but actually lead their relative sector to bring in solutions that will transform not only their own business but the entire economy,” says Lo Sze Ping, WWF China CEO.
Commitment to WWF Climate Savers
The Volvo Group has been a member of WWF Climate Savers since 2010 and has recently extended its commitment through 2020. WWF Climate Savers is a global program in which member companies take on two commitments: to become the best in class in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and to influence policy by promoting their vision and solutions.
“As a leading company here in China we need to take a leadership position and help drive changes. It’s not just a social responsibility issue. It’s not just a branding issue. It’s more about how to be involved in driving change,” explains Volvo China Investment Company President Roger Chen. “We need innovations and with those green innovations we can drive changes and that helps our overall market situation and helps us bring the right products into society.”
The Volvo Group held a keynote speech at the seminar; other WWF Climate Saver member companies on-hand to discuss and share best practices in environmental care were SKF, J&J, HP, Yingli etc. Volvo Construction Equipment President Martin Weissburg delivered the keynote speech called “Green Innovative Solutions”. He drew an analogy between the Volvo Ocean Race and the fight to reduce carbon emissions.
“If you look at what the race is and what it symbolizes, it is the coming together of outstanding technology with outstanding people. The team together of corporates like us, government, academia, NGO’s, coming together as a team utilizing technology and innovation to together fight the problems we have in the environment, to reduce the carbon footprint,” says Weissburg.
“WWF with its leadership and its significant contributions is similar to the skipper of the boat and the rest of us are the crew but we all have to work together on this. And the race is not the race to win a boat race – the race is to protect the globe.”
Leading the transportation industry
The Volvo Group was the first vehicle manufacturer in the world to become a member of WWF Climate Savers. In the first five years of the program, Volvo Group exceeded its targets for carbon reduction in its production and in its products. One of those targets was to reduce total lifetime C02 emissions from products sold between 2009 and 2014 by more than 30 Mton compared to 2008 models, via improved fuel efficiency. The Volvo Group saved 40 Mton.
“The fact that Volvo exceeded its commitment in the first phase of the partnership is not only boosting the confidence of Volvo to become more ambitious in this second phase,” explains Lo Sze Ping, WWF China CEO. “It also shows other companies that sometimes when we look back we’re too conservative in coming up with our targets. I think with technological advancement, better management practices, higher level of awareness in the management of companies, we will be able to achieve more collectively.”
The next phase extends Volvo Group’s commitment to push development further across the entire transportation sector. Volvo is already at work investigating the possibility of a carbon neutral facility in Asia.