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What we stand for

The Earth’s climate system is out of balance. Turning the trend in the right direction is one of the greatest challenges Man has ever faced. It is also by far the most important environmental issue for those of us who work in the transport sector. How are we to meet the continuously increasing need for transportation, generate profitability for our customers and at the same time reduce emissions of greenhouse gases? Without transportation, society will grind to a halt. However, if trends continue as they have so far, we will eventually find ourselves in a dead-end.

Our response to these challenges include energy efficiency and alternative fuels, It is a strategy that encompasses our entire business, who we choose to use as partners and the decisions we make for the future.

Reducing emissions
Over the past few decades emissions of substances from transportation have fallen substantially in the OECD countries, and are predicted to fall further over the forthcoming decades. Furthermore, diesel fuels with low sulphur content have been introduced. This has resulted in major improvements in air quality. But transport also continues to grow, in particular in those parts of the world experiencing major economic growth.

At Volvo Trucks we are working to reduce harmful emissions and are developing and commercialising technological solutions to meet even tougher emission requirements.

Hybrid technology and alternative fuels
Most of the energy used today comes from non-renewable energy sources such as oil and natural gas and coal. There are many convincing reasons for looking into alternative fuels and drivelines, and a step in the right direction is hybrid solutions to use available fuels in the most efficient way.

We are also exploring alternative fuels such as biodiesel, synthetic diesel (e.g. HVO), DME (Dimethyl ether), methanol/ethanol, biogas and hydrogen, because unlike fossil fuels, some of these fuels are close to CO2-neutral and add no extra carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.

Material matters
Having environmental guidelines for product development is crucial for us. By featuring advice and instructions on how the environmental impact can be reduced, our engineers can see early on how alternative materials and processes might affect the environment during the whole life cycle.

CO2-neutral operations
In 2007, Volvo Trucks presented the world’s first carbon neutral factory in Ghent, Belgium, and our factory at Tuve, Sweden followed in 2011 and Umeå, Sweden is very close. The goal for the plants is to gradually switch to renewable energy, such as wind power and biofuel, as sources for electricity and heating. In the future all of Volvo Trucks’ major factories will be CO2-neutral. We also aim to gradually shift towards CO2 neutral dealers. Our first such dealership was presented in Verona, Italy, 2008.

Limiting resources and handling waste
Solvents have to be taken care of and waste has to be handled in a suitable way. Our cab paint shop in Umeå is on the right track and it has the lowest solvent emissions in the industry.

In all of our factories waste is dealt with in a controlled way. Water supply is also something that we pay attention to, especially since water is scarce in many parts of the world. That’s why all of Volvo’s majority-owned facilities have their own water treatment plants or are linked to external water treatment plants.

Climate neutral goods transport
It is our goal, and we believe it to be perfectly feasible, to halve emissions from the typical Swedish long-haul transport operation by 2020 compared with 2005. Although goods transport will in all likelihood continue to increase and thus dilute part of the improvement, we now have a fantastic opportunity to create an important and lasting breakthrough, reversing the current trend.