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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
|Environmental KPIs over time
|Energy usage, GWh
|Whereof renewable energy
|Direct GHG emissions, CO₂e, scope 1 x1,000 tons; tons
|Indirect GHG emissions, CO₂e scope 2, x1,000 tons
|Scope 1 and 2 total CO₂e x1,000 tons
|Indirect GHG emissions, CO₂escope 3.11, (use of sold products), x1,000,000 tons
|Water use, x1,000 m3
|Nitrogen oxide emissions, NOx, tons 223
|Solvent emissions, tons
|Sulphur dioxide ¬emissions, SOx, tons
|Hazardous waste, tons
|Net sales from Industrial Operations, SEK bn
|Net sales Group, incl financial services
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.