Human rights

Respect for human rights is a key enabler for reaching the UN Sustainable Development Goals. We are committed to respecting human rights and will continue to develop and strengthen the implementation of our human rights program. In this work, we are guided by international frameworks such as the UN Global Compact and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

Business and Human Rights

Efficient and sustainable transport contributes to the building of resilient societies, and enables economic, social, and cultural development. We continuously develop our products, services, and technologies to increase their value for our customers and promote the well-being and safety of people. This is embodied in our overall approach to business and human rights. The Volvo Group is committed to respecting human rights, and we recognize that a holistic approach is a key enabler for reaching the UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

We work in close collaboration with our supply partners, distributors, and customers to ensure they follow our supplier requirements.

We place a great deal of importance on identifying and mitigating sustainability risks with a focus on due diligence, building awareness and collaborations.

This is an ongoing journey and the Volvo Group has adopted a risk-based approach where we prioritize and focus on the areas where we consider that we have the highest risks for adverse human rights impacts. We also consider 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 Policy Framework

The Volvo Group Code of Conduct, Human Rights Policy, Supplier Code of Conduct, and other Group-level policies reflect our commitment to respecting human rights. We set and communicate our expectations and human rights approach through these guiding documents.

Human rights governance and salient human rights risks

The Volvo Group’s human rights governance model is based on cross-functional governance forums and working groups, all overseen by a Human Rights Board, composed by relevant members from our Executive Board.

Human Rights program

The Volvo Group Human Rights Program describes how we implement our commitment to respect human rights as set out in our Human Rights Policy.  The purpose of the Human Rights Program is to ensure that Volvo Group can systematically identify, mitigate and address human rights risks and ensure continuous improvement in our processes. The program provides further clarity to the organization on the Volvo Group’s ambition on human rights, applicable standards, salient human rights risks, human rights due diligence strategy, and human rights governance across various levels of the Volvo Group.

The Volvo Group’s sustainability ambitions are divided into three areas: Climate – Resources – People. Human rights risks might be associated with our activities and business relationships in all three of these areas.

Our Human Rights Policy describes the Volvo Group’s salient human rights risks across these three areas.

The Volvo Group also complies with human rights-related reporting requirements under the EU’s non-financial reporting directive and other applicable national legislation. We publish Modern Slavery Statements for relevant companies within the Volvo Group annually.

Our own operations

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, 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.

"Everything starts with having partners we trust, and we think share the same values."

Strategic business partners

In addition to our owned manufacturing operations, the Volvo Group collaborates with private business partners to assemble trucks and build bus bodies on our chassis in line with customer specific requirements. Some of these partners are located in countries with elevated human rights risks. Ongoing activities to secure that business partners operate in line with Group requirements include e.g. to implement social and environmental requirements in contractual agreements, requirements on self-assessments and on-site reviews. 

Our sales channels and the use of products

Certain sales deals are assessed for risks related to human rights, primarily in connection with direct sales deals involving customer financing and support from export credit guarantees as well as sales to certain high-risk end users such as the military and law enforcement. Certain sales deals are also assessed in specific customer segments such as the fossil fuels sector, mining, and sales to conflict-affected areas with particular human rights risks.

Supply chain

Our Supplier Code of Conduct outlines 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.

Grievance channels and access to remedy

Employees, representatives of the Volvo Group, and external stakeholders can report any instances of breach of our Code of Conduct and other policies, including human rights violations, where the Volvo Group or any of its representatives are believed to be involved. Grievances can be reported through internal and publicly available grievance channels described in our Code of Conduct, including the Volvo Group Whistle. Reports can be

made anonymously wherever permitted by local law. Read more