Volvo Cars’ engine factory in Skövde, Sweden has become the automaker’s first climate-neutral manufacturing facility. The news was announced by Volvo this week, although the plant switched to renewable heating on January 1st. According to Volvo, Skövde will serve as a significant step toward the company’s vision of establishing climate-neutral manufacturing globally by 2025.
“Improving energy efficiency is our first priority and then, for the energy we need to use, we aim for supplies generated from renewable sources,” explained Javier Varela, Senior Vice President of Manufacturing and Logistics, Volvo Cars.
A new agreement between Volvo Cars and the local provider ensures all heating supplied to the facility is generated from waste incineration, biomass, and recycled bio-fuels. The electricity supplied to Skövde has come from renewable sources since 2008. A similar approach was taken at Volvo’s facility in Ghent, Belgium in 2016, where a special heating system was implemented saving 15,000 tons of C02 per year and ultimately reducing carbon emissions by 40 percent.
“Environmental care is one of our core values,” said Stuart Templar, Director for Sustainability, Volvo Cars. “Along with our plan to electrify all new Volvo cars launched from 2019, climate-neutral manufacturing operations will significantly reduce our overall carbon footprint, supporting global efforts to tackle climate change.”
“We will continue to work actively with our energy suppliers in all regions to secure further access to renewable energy for our manufacturing plants,” Varela added.
In general, Skövde is among only a few climate-neutral automotive plants in Europe. Volvo has utilized the facility since 1930 to manufacture engines, although the Sköfvde foundry and mechanical workshop was established much earlier in 1868 by John G Grönvall. The foundry produced frame saws, iron stoves, and turbines, later moving to engines in 1907. Today, the facility employs nearly 3,000 people.
Carl Anthony is Managing Editor of Automoblog and resides in Detroit, Michigan. He studies mechanical engineering at Wayne State University, serves on the Board of Directors for the Ally Jolie Baldwin Foundation, and is a loyal Detroit Lions fan.