Environment and resources

As an OEM and service provider, we accept the challenge of fulfilling societal needs for transportation, mobility and infrastructural solutions both on- and off-road. We do this with the utmost respect for the finite resources that our planet can sustainably provide.

Our environmental policy sets the principles

and foundation for how we work

  •  We continually reduce lifecycle environmental impacts as an enabler for increased sustainability and customer success.
  • We demonstrate responsible care for the environment wherever we operate and build trust by adhering to our Code of Conduct.
  • We minimize resource use, emissions and waste and utilize means within our sphere of influence to create change towards a circular economy and further improve our competitiveness.

A sustainable transport system

Transport efficiency is a key element in reaching global climate ambitions. Our low-emission vehicles can help our customers reach their ambitious environmental targets - but to get to net-zero, increased transport efficiency is crucial. In our scenarios we see that transport and infrastructure projects will increase significantly during this decade. This puts extreme demands on environmental performance for the entire transport system.

Read more about our customer solutions here

The transition to a circular economy

The world’s natural resources are limited, yet economic activity is expected to increase heavily in the short- and long-term. To Volvo Group, this means that an increased focus on circularity can result in improved resource efficiency and significant cost-saving opportunities.
The term circularity includes numerous perspectives, and we can support the transition to a circular economy in many ways.
Our main work, in this regard, builds on strategies applied for almost a century. We work to prolong product lifecycles, we reuse what can be reused, we recycle our waste, and we continuously reduce environmental impact from our products inuse, as well as from our operations.

Design phase

We have the greatest opportunity to influence our products’ lifecycles and sustainability profiles in the early design phase. This requires a mindset where we carefully consider the materials, technologies and business models right from the drawing board.
Circular design considers a range of topics throughout the lifecycle, such as reducing the use of or entirely avoiding certain materials, maintenance and repair to extend operating life, recovering or recycling materials at end-of-life, as well as packaging. It can also mean designing new business models, which enable all the above.

Renewable energy sources

One impactful measure is to replace fossil-based energy with renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, biomass and biofuels. The Volvo Group has production facilities in 18 countries, with approximately 100 sites around the world. Currently, six of our sites are certified as renewable energy facilities, powered by 100% renewable energy, and several sites source parts of their energy from renewable sources.
Although renewable energy is not yet available in all markets, we foresee an increase in supply throughout the world. When available at acceptable pricing conditions, renewable energy is always our first choice.
In 2022, 48% of the total energy sourced by Volvo Group’s operations (production, technology centers, warehouses and dealership sites) was from renewable sources.
With 2019 as baseline, our science-based targets include reducing scope 1 and 2 emissions (those created by our operations and supply chain) by 50% by 2030.
This target is set aiming for the 1.5°C ambition in the Paris Agreement and valid across our global organization

Reducing environmental footprint in operations

Our science-based targets cover over 95% of our Greenhouse Gas Emissions, which has been deemed the environmental topic where we have the most impact. These 95% cover our production and customer-use phases. The environmental footprint from our operations is relatively small compared to that from the use-phase of our products (less than 1% of the total emission inventory). Nevertheless, as we are operating production facilities over time, all savings we achieve make a difference. As we strive for more sustainable production, we continuously reduce waste and emissions, optimize water-use, and improve our handling of solvents, oils and chemicals.

Zero-waste to landfill in operations

Industrial manufacturing has been optimized for throughput over the last century and we continuously work to find new ways of making our operations more efficient. This, of course, includes safety, quality and environmental care improvements. One focus area is the reduction of waste. The Volvo Group’s target is to transform 55 sites to landfill-free by 2025. At year end (2021) we had reached 16.
But it’s not only about landfill. We have integrated the waste hierarchy approach and strive to finds ways to always move upwards, from landfill to recovery, composting, recycling, or reuse.

Materials Technology

Volvo Materials Technology is a department of specialists in the field of applied material science and technology, which assists the Volvo Group, Volvo Cars and other external customers.

Materials Technology

Reuse and remanufacturing

We have been offering remanufacturing for 70 years and we will continue developing the processes to extend the lifecycle of parts and components. Remanufacturing short-cuts the sometimes-complex value chains of parts, leading to significantly lower material and energy usage compared to a new part, yet still meeting the high-quality demands of the end-product. Our remanufacturing program mainly operates with engines, filters, gearboxes and rear-axle transmissions, and our aim is to extend this program to cover more markets and more components over time.

Remanufacturing gives a product or component a new life. There is also a great opportunity to reuse and extend product life with high quality service and the resale of used products. Part of what we do is to take back used vehicles and machines, refurbish them, and optimize them for a second round or an entirely new purpose. One example of this is our Renault Trucks used vehicle offers.

Substances of concern and scarce materials

Some of the materials used in our products are in scarce supply, and some materials and substances are potentially hazardous. In collaboration with our stakeholders, and in compliance with REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals), the Volvo Group proactively evaluates alternatives in the design and supply processes to minimize and eliminate scarce materials and substances of concern.

The Volvo Group purchases raw materials and components from numerous external suppliers who comply with REACH guidelines. The base for safe handling in a sustainable value chain is identification.

Although we have been progressive in identifying the materials and substances that should be avoided, the number of trackable materials and substances increase every year. Internal policies and procedures are important tools to manage and trace materials and substances of concern.

Certain materials are limited in supply throughout the world, which may lead to a variety of difficulties such as high prices and increased risk for human rights abuses, environmental pollution, and other forms of corrupt behavior. One such hotspot is mining of minerals in conflict-affected and other high-risk areas.

We are implementing a dedicated supplier Sustainable Minerals Program, currently focusing on tin, tungsten, tantalum, gold and cobalt, to support our efforts to source materials in a responsible way. The program is built on the five-step framework of the OECD, Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas, as well as on the tools of the Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI), of which the Volvo Group is a member.

Read more on our human rights program here

Environmental KPIs over time2022202120202019
Energy usage, GWh2,3672,4372,1582,372
Whereof renewable energy48%40%37%35%
Direct GHG emissions, CO₂e, scope 1 x1,000 tons; tons243252211250
Indirect GHG emissions, CO₂e scope 2, x1,000 tons81115121125
Scope 1 and 2 total CO₂e x1,000 tons324367332375
Indirect GHG emissions, CO₂escope 3.11, (use of sold products), x1,000,000 tons287286241323
Water use, x1,000 m34,5664,6284,8655,389
Nitrogen oxide emissions, NOx, tons 223198221190289
Solvent emissions, tons1,3981,3091,2241,406
Sulphur dioxide ¬emissions, SOx, tons2.9     5   3.7  8.5
Hazardous waste, tons36,80053,31451,71250,909
Net sales from Industrial Operations, SEK bn459.7361.1326.5418.4
Net sales Group, incl financial services473.5372.2338.4431.9
Delivered units    
Trucks232,558202,458166,841232,769
Buses5,8154,5226,2159,731
Construction equipment80,90999,87193,76086,885

Recycling and reuse in our merchandise

At Volvo Group we strive to chose a more sustainable path forward. This is our approach across the board, including in the production of merchandise. In the video below you can see how we with work with recycled cotton in our collection.

Learn more about our merchandise collection