“We only need to look at the challenges that the world is facing, with 1.2 million people dying on the roads every year and 50 million suffering permanent injuries, and it is obvious that we need to resolve these problems. At the Volvo Group, we have the necessary knowledge and so we are under an obligation to help. We do this partly by developing products that improve safety levels and partly via our corporate social responsibility programme,” he says.
According to Peter Kronberg, from society’s perspective the challenges are serious, because the number of accidents is rising as the volume of traffic grows and urbanisation increases. In the most highly developed countries, road safety has improved dramatically over the last 25 years, but in other countries, the situation is deteriorating year by year.
“The markets where we want to grow our business have huge problems that are blocking the development of society. We are in a unique position to help because of our global presence and our knowledge,” he explains.
He believes that the Volvo Group can influence the societies where it does business. CSR opens doors and gives safety issues a high political profile.
“We can have an influence on both national and international investment in transport, on how research funding is allocated and on ensuring that future regulations bring clear benefits for society. Not everyone is able to do this. When we speak, a lot of people listen. We are trusted because we have demonstrated time and time again that what we do benefits society and is based on knowledge and facts. But trust does not come cheaply and it is fragile. This is why we must always take a factual, systematic approach,” he says.
Good examples of the successful safety projects organised by the Group that Peter Kronberg is proud of include driver training courses in India, the road safety programme in Brazil and the “Stop, Look, Wave” concept that teaches children how to behave safely in traffic.
The Volvo Group also works closely with its customers on safety issues.
“We try to understand all the lessons that need to be learned about the risks our customers may be exposed to in traffic. We identify the highest priority problems and introduce solutions. This takes us one step closer to achieving our vision of zero accidents with Volvo Group products.”