The right building blocks

Even if most of the environmental burden today occurs when the vehicle is in service, it is naturally important to minimize the effect on the environment during the whole of the truck's life cycle. This calls for material efficiency right from the start, during the manufacturing of a truck.

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

We have, for instance, created a database featuring detailed information on about 6,000 chemical products, to be able to reduce the use of environmentally hazardous substances. A number of substances are in fact entirely forbidden within Volvo, others may only be used to a limited extent. Here are two examples:

  • The use of brominated flame-retardant agents have been phased out from all our fabrics and plastics.
  • Non-asbestos brake linings have been standard on Volvo's trucks for many years now.


Recycling the good components
Recycling is another way to take care of materials. Volvo Exchange Parts are an excellent and practical example of the very best form of recycling. These are components that instead of being scrapped, are taken care of and renovated - or remanufactured as we put it; restored to exactly the same condition as a brand-new counterpart and ready for renewed life in another truck.

The Volvo FH12, for example, contains 33 percent reused material, and it can be recycled to more than 90%. This method is a winner: cheaper for the customer - and imposes less of a burden on the environment.