Science Based Targets

Using science based targets is a comprehensive and transparent way for Volvo Group to show the daily work to reduce emission levels, ultimately with the purpose of leading us on a path towards decarbonization. The Volvo Group, and over 1300 companies worldwide, are already using science based targets to tackle climate change while boosting our competitiveness in the transition to a net-zero economy.

The Science Based Targets initiative enables Volvo Group to set emission reduction targets in line with leading climate science. It provides target setting methods that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and transform business operations to fit the future low-carbon economy. These targets are in line with what the latest climate science deems necessary to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement – to limit global warming to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursue efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C.

SBTi is a collaboration between Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), World Resources Institute (WRI), World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and one of the We Mean Business Coalition commitments.

Setting science based targets to combat climate risks

Climate change is a real threat to people, nature, and the world economy - and there is a need to collectively cut global greenhouse gas emissions.

In the 2015 Paris Agreement, world governments committed to curbing global temperature rise to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels. According to a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), to limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and avoid the most catastrophic impacts of climate change, the world must halve CO2 emissions by 2030 and reach net-zero CO2 emissions by mid-century.

The IPCC defines net-zero as that point when “anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere are balanced by anthropogenic removals over a specified period”. The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) has developed the first global standard for net-zero business, based on a science based targets methodology.

The Science Based Targets initiative offer a framework that enables dedicated and committed companies like Volvo Group to set robust, transparent and credible net-zero targets in line with a 1.5°C future. SBTi's team of experts provide independent assessment and validation of these targets and by setting a net-zero target for Volvo Group,we make sure we contribute to limiting the impact of climate change within our whole value chain, including our supply chain partners.

By setting science based climate targets, Volvo Group future-proofs innovation and competitiveness, while also demonstrating an assertive sustainability commitment. We are convinced that reducing emissions in line with climate science also promotes longevity and stakeholder trust.

Volvo Group’s Science Based targets

In November 2020, we committed to a pathway towards a Volvo Group net-zero value chain greenhouse gas emissions. Our target is to reach this by 2040, ten years earlier than the Science Based Targets initiatives (SBTi) commitment, and ultimately make Volvo Group carbon neutral. This pathway to reaching the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement has been validated by SBTi and we have embarked on an irreversible transformational journey with an ambition to be 100% safe, 100% fossil-free, and 100% more productive.

The Volvo Group science based targets are in line with what the latest climate science deems necessary to keep global warming at a maximum of 1.5⁰C. The Science Based Targets initiative offers two ambition levels to reduce greenhouse emissions. The Standard Commitment to limit global warming to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and the Business Ambition for 1.5°C to align emissions reduction targets to the Paris agreement. We are committed to the latter and are taking it further in several areas like the industry-first to develop our own pathway towards the 1.5⁰C target for trucks and buses.


Towards net-zero value chain emissions

Volvo Group’s science based targets take into consideration an average time ”on the road” of approximately ten years for our products. With 2019 as a base year, we have set our first interim targets and will follow up and report on the Volvo Group’s CO2 emission reductions progress continuously and in a transparent way.

The interim targets cover approximately 95% of our emissions, where the by far largest share are indirect emissions from the use of sold products. Direct and indirect emissions from own operations are included in the interim targets.

The interim Volvo Group zero emissions targets in these areas will be followed by more targets in additional areas related to our indirect emissions, completing the entire value chain from suppliers to end of life.

The Volvo Group’s targets and ambition levels within the Science Based Targets initiative are pushing the boundaries of the industry even further:

  1. In an industry-first, the Volvo Group developed its own pathway towards the 1.5⁰C target for trucks and buses, with a targeted emissions reduction of 40% per vehicle km by 2030.
  2. Our targets for indirect emissions cover approximately 95% of the products sold. This is industry-leading and well above SBTi’s minimum requirement of 67%.
  3. Our target is to reach net-zero value chain emissions by 2040 at the latest, ten years earlier than the SBTi commitment. For the entire rolling fleet to have net-zero emissions by 2050, all products delivered after 2040 must have net-zero emissions.

Zero carbon emission

Scope 3 emissions: Use of sold products

The main part of emissions – approximately 96% - occurs when the products are being used. Several factors in this phase are out of our control, but we have seen that we can help to reduce these emissions. The ambition is net-zero by 2040. These milestone targets for our main segments help us towards our goal.

1.         Trucks: –40% per vehicle km

2.         Buses: –40% per vehicle km

3.         Volvo CE: –30% in absolute reductions

4.         Volvo Penta: –37,5% in absolute reductions by 2034


Read more about reducing emissions here.


Scope 1 and 2 emissions:


Scope 1 emissions are those that occur directly from our operation. Scope 2 emissions are indirect emissions from that occur when e.g. electricity our operations is generated. Less than 1% of life cycle emissions are connected to scope 1 & 2, including production plants, engineering centers, offices and dealerships.


The target is to reduce these by 50% by 2030 compared with 2019


There are two main ways to reduce these emissions:

1. To conserve energy. This can be done by implementing energy efficient technologies.

2. Reduce GHG intensity. This can be facilitated by increasing the share of renewable energy at our sites and from energy suppliers.

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