The Volvo Group is committed to respect human rights. This includes not just colleagues in our operations, but also people in neighboring communities, suppliers and others potentially impacted by the use of our products and solutions. Respect for human rights and a holistic human right approach are key enablers for reaching the UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
Our responsibility to respect human rights includes supporting and recognizing the following international human rights instruments:
The Volvo Group’s Human Rights governance model is based on cross-functional governance forums and working groups, all steered by a Human Rights Board, composed by relevant members from our Executive Board. Our Group functions such as Corporate Responsibility, Legal and Compliance, and Human Resources, together with our Group Truck divisions and business areas, identify, assess and monitor human rights related risks within our operating environment.
The Volvo Group also complies with human rights related reporting requirements under the EU’s non-financial reporting directive and the UK Modern Slavery Act. We publish Modern Slavery Statements for relevant companies within the Volvo Group annually.
The Volvo Group Code of Conduct, Supplier Code of Conduct and other Group-level policies reflect our commitment to respect human rights. Through these guiding documents for our human rights approach, we set and communicate our expectations on:
We consider these the most relevant human rights issues for the Volvo Group currently and continue to identify any other issues that may become relevant. These topics are also part of the mandatory training for all employees in the Volvo Group Code of Conduct.
Volvo Group’s human rights due-diligence and mitigation efforts are focused on where we believe there are the highest risks of people being harmed across the value chain – own operations, supply chain, strategic business partners, and certain sales transactions. We also take into account country/region human rights at work risk levels, purchase category or sales segment risks, and potential concerns brought to our attention by our employees and external stakeholders.
Human rights reviews in our own operations aims to identify actual and potential adverse human rights impacts on employees, consultants and onsite service providers. This involves desktop review of country and sector human rights risks, self-assessments and in-person workshops with the local management, in-person discussions with employees, onsite service providers, union representatives and also, if relevant, potential in-person discussions with other stakeholders.
The findings of each country-level human rights review are communicated to relevant members of our top management and action plans for identified improvement areas are created with clear ownership and anchoring within the local management. Our target is to perform human rights reviews covering all own operations in countries with elevated human rights concerns by 2025.
Our Supplier Code of Conduct outlines the Volvo Group’s minimum requirements and aspirations for all our suppliers in the areas of human rights and working conditions, health and safety, responsible sourcing of raw materials, environmental performance and business ethics. Human rights due-diligence in the supply chain includes supplier risk assessment, on-site audits, and supplier training in collaboration with DRIVE Sustainability – a sector wide collaboration for a more sustainable automotive value chain.
In addition to our owned manufacturing operations, the Volvo Group collaborates with private business partners to assemble trucks in certain locations in Africa and Asia, and a number of bus body builders around the world that build bus bodies on our chassis in line with customer requirements. We are also considering how to strengthen our contractual terms and overall due-diligence on corporate responsibility and human rights at truck assembly partners and bus body builders.
In the context of our responsible sales program, we screen certain sales deals for risks related to human rights, environmental factors, and business ethics beyond compliance. These screenings are primarily performed when export credit agencies or certain private insurance companies are involved for guarantees on customer financing.
Sales deals with identified risks are typically escalated within the respective business areas or at the Group level for further consideration and action. We often discuss and engage with the respective customers in order to clarify and mitigate identified issues. We also perform risk assessments from compliance, legal and corporate responsibility perspectives in selected governmental and other high-risk sales deals taking into account country of use, end-user, and intended end-use.
Our employees and external stakeholders are able to report, to the extent permitted by local laws, any instances of human rights violations in connection with the Volvo Group or breach of our Code of Conduct through our internal and public grievance channels. You are encouraged to report violations or suspected violations of our Code of Conduct. The third party hosted, Volvo Group Whistle, is also available to submit complaints relating to violations of our Code of Conduct.