All heating supplied to the Skövde plant will be generated from waste incineration, biomass and recycled bio-products, thanks to a new agreement between Volvo and a local supplier.

The site, alongside Volvo’s other European plants, has already had its electricity supply come from renewable sources since 2008.

“Improving energy efficiency is our first priority and then, for the energy we need to use, we aim for supplies generated from renewable sources,” said Volvo senior VP manufacturing and logistics Javier Varela. “The Skövde plant achievement is an important addition to our broader efforts in minimising our environmental footprint.”

Climate-neutral operations

The announcements marks a big step towards Volvo’s vision of having climate-neutral global manufacturing operations by 2025.

Last summer, Volvo announced that every vehicle launch from 2019 onwards will have an electric motor, in a move described by the company as a “historic end” to the combustion engine.

The focus on new automotive models matches Volvo’s expansion into the autonomous vehicle market. The company is currently involved in the “largest and most extensive autonomous driving testing programme on Britain’s streets”. The first-phase of the £100m, Government-backed project commenced in March 2017.

Volvo is part of a wider traditional car making industry that will need to adapt rapidly to address technological disruption and environmental regulation or risk falling behind.

In a report today (18 January) from CDP, carmakers were warned they could face multi-million-pound fines and a huge loss in market share to tech firms such as Uber and Google unless they embrace the low-carbon vehicle transition.

George Ogleby

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