Climate change is one of the biggest challenges of our time. The Volvo Group is determined to fulfil our commitment to the goals of the Paris Agreement and lead our industry in the transformation towards net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040. This is a huge challenge for the world and for us. One of the most important things we can do is to help reduce our customers’ emissions. Developing products and solutions that reduce the CO2 footprint is thus the first priority in our climate strategy. In accordance with this, we have set ambitious and ground-breaking targets that are in line with the latest climate science on what is deemed necessary to limit global warming to a maximum of 1.5⁰C above pre-industrial levels.
Science-based targets – milestones leading the way towards net-zero, with 2019 as baseline:
Trucks: reduce emissions per vehicle-km by 40% by 2030
Buses: reduce emissions per vehicle-km by 40% by 2030
Construction equipment: reduce absolute emissions 30% by 2030
Volvo Penta: reduce absolute emissions by 37.5% by 2034
Own operations: reduce absolute GHG emission by 50% by 2030
Our targets and methodology are approved by the Science Based Targets initiative. Progress on the targets as well as total emissions are reported further down on this page. We continue to develop transparent reporting and aligning with the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). Our focus is to bring innovative and competitive solutions to the market in areas where we can make the greatest impact.
As we set climate targets and other environmental targets, we also consider climate impacts from our industrial activities. We continuously strive to reduce waste and emissions, optimize water use and improve our handling of potentially hazardous materials. Our way forward to reach net-zero value chain greenhouse gas (GHG) from operations include replacing fossil energy sources with renewable low GHG intensive energy sources such as wind, solar and hydropower.
An optimized global footprint in our supply chain will reduce lead-time for our customers and actively reduce our CO2 footprint. Through our climate strategy we aim to secure outstanding quality and technology at the best possible commercial offer when we purchase any product, service or solution. We also encourage suppliers to routinely control, minimize and if possible, eliminate greenhouse gas emissions. In this way we seek collaboration with business partners to jointly contribute to the Paris agreement and global climate goals.
The Volvo Group target to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040 is an enabler to reach a rolling fleet and value chain net-zero emissions by 2050 at the latest. This is ten years earlier than the actual SBTi commitment of 2050. For the Volvo Group, this is a huge transformation. First and foremost, we will drive the transformation towards electrification with the main alternatives BEV and fuel cells. The transition to a fossil free transport system requires a range of solutions and our main focus areas are:
Notwithstanding the fact that, currently the environmental footprint of our operations is relatively small compared to that of the use phase of our products. We are constantly working to reduce climate and environmental impacts from our industrial activities through our environmental and climate strategy. In our operations, the main focus areas to reduce our footprint are energy and emissions, waste and chemicals. Our commitment to SBTi includes direct and energy indirect emissions from operations, purchased goods and services to be able to reach net-zero by 2040.
Volvo Group committed to SBTi in November 2020. In June 2021 the targets were approved.
The targets are confirmed to be in line with the Business Ambition for 1.5 °C, which means net zero value chain GHG emissions by 2050, at the latest.
Considering Volvo Group’s broad range of products and operations, our science-based targets are set in different ways for different parts of our business.
For trucks and buses, we have set targets to reduce GHG emissions for the use phase by 40% per vehicle-kilometer. This is the method suggested by the SBTi for the transport sector.
For our construction machinery and Volvo Penta business area we have set targets to reduce emissions in absolute terms.
For our scope 1 and 2 emissions (production, technical centers, warehouses and dealerships) we have also set an absolute target.
These milestone targets are approved by SBTi and confirmed to be in line with the ambition for 1.5 ⁰C . They are further supported by shorter term plans and targets which may differ between our divisions and business areas.
Calculated total GHG emissions from use of sold products have been reduced from approximately 323 million tons in 2019 to 286 million tons in 2021. The Volvo Group has introduced a range of solutions with improved energy and fuel efficiency, but the main effect so far comes from lower sales volumes of trucks compared with the baseline in 2019.
Overall, as the Volvo Group is operating in cyclical industries which are linked to economic activity, such as the GDP development, sales volumes and utilization of the rolling fleet of products can vary considerably from one year to the next. Consequently, the overall GHG-emissions will in the short term depend on where we are in the business cycle. Also, since the Group is selling its products in more than 190 markets, shifts in the regional and market mix can also have a significant impact on the GHG emissions due to different carbon intensity in the energy mix. Product mix also is another factor which may have a significant impact.
Trucks (Scope 3)
Within the trucks segment calculated GHG-emissions per vehicle-kilometer have been reduced by 2% in 2019–2021. This is mainly due to fuel consumption improvements.
Buses (Scope 3)
For buses, the result of emission per vehicle-kilometer was 7% higher 2021 compared with 2019. The increase in relative emissions is mainly the result of the sales mix with a higher proportion of city buses compared to coaches. The driving pattern of city buses with stop and go results in higher emissions per vehicle-kilometer than coaches.
Construction equipment (Scope 3)
Sales of machines have increased significantly, especially in Asia, which has resulted in calculated scope 3 GHG emissions increasing by 17% from the baseline 2019. Over the longer term, the plan is that electrified and more energy-efficient products will enable reduced total emissions.
Volvo Penta (Scope 3)
Total calculated GHG emissions were 5% lower than compared to 2019. The result is mainly an effect of sales volumes and product mix.
Own operations (Scope 1 and 2)
Our scope 1 and 2 emissions were 3% lower 2021 compared to 2019. Investments to reduce energy consumption by 15 GWh has been implemented during 2021. Although some of these initiatives are relatively small compared to the total energy usage, all energy-conservation activities implemented today save energy over many years
Total GHG emissions
Our reporting so far covers Scope 1, 2 and scope 3 “use of sold products”. Where the latter represents over 95% of total emission footprint. The emissions from the use of sold products occur when our products are driven or operated by using various energy sources, such as liquid or gaseous fuels, or electricity.
The GHG emissions from use of sold products is approximately 11% lower in 2021 compared to 2019. (323 million tons in 2019 to 286 million tons in 2021).
Although we have launched a range of solutions with improved energy and fuel efficiency, the main effect so far comes from lower sales volumes of trucks compared with the baseline in 2019.
In relation to the use phase emissions, direct and indirect GHG emissions from our operations (scope 1 and 2) is very small, in 2021 less than 0.2% of the latest total GHG emission inventory. They are still important to reduce on our path towards net-zero emissions.
See more environmental data here
Our emissions and energy data are part of our Annual and Sustainability Report and have been subject to third party assurance.
During 2010-2020, we were part of the WWF Climate Savers. In 2021 we take the next step and enter the Science Based Targets initiative. The SBTi is a partnership between CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project), the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
The SBTi is designed for organizations to set targets aligned with UN Paris agreement on climate change. The Volvo Group target to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040 is an enabler to reach a rolling fleet and value chain net-zero emissions by 2050 at the latest. On our way to achieve this we have now set ambitious interim science-based targets aiming towards scenario 1.5oC.
Since SBTi measurements are set towards well-below 2.0oC (B2DS), the Volvo Group has adopted 1.5oC transport SDA pathway, applying the same methodology to reach “absolute contraction approach” by 2040 instead of 2050.
As part of our climate work, we set out to advocate for progress in line with the Paris Agreement.
Sustainability reporting is included in our Annual and Sustainability Report. In our GRI Index we disclose the specific economic, environmental and social sustainability topics that are material to the Volvo Group.