Most notably from its German rivals.
Automakers are now more environmentally conscious than ever before, and the race is on to achieve carbon neutrality. But some are taking this task more seriously and aggressively than others, namely Volvo. The Chinese-owned Swedish automaker has just announced its oldest factory in Sweden has reached full carbon neutral status.
The Torslanda plant, home of the Volvo XC90 and S90 range, is the company's second facility to gain this status following its Skovde engine plant in 2018. The ultimate goal is to have a completely climate-neutral global manufacturing network by 2025. So how does Volvo know its plants have reached carbon neutral status?
It happens when a facility registers zero net increase in carbon emissions, consisting of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere as a result of the electricity used to provide power. Volvo says its oldest factory has been powered by climate-neutral electricity since 2008, but the difference now is that it also has climate-neutral heating.
Half the facility's heating comes from biogas, a mixture of gases produced by the breakdown of organic matter, while the second half mostly comes from industrial waste heat. Torslanda's energy usage improvements have resulted in yearly energy savings of almost 7,000 megawatt-hours, equal to powering over 450 homes annually.
Volvo rivals, specifically those in the Volkswagen Group, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz, are also striving to achieve carbon neutrality. Audi, for example, has pledged that production at all of its locations will become carbon neutral by 2025. Two European plants have already successfully converted. Volvo further plans to develop its own renewable electricity generation capacity on-site at all of its production plants.
The automaker's climate neutrality ambition extends beyond eliminating tailpipe emissions. In March it said Volvo will build EVs only by 2030. Addressing carbon emissions in extended operations, mainly its supply chain, is another top priority, as is finding new and creative ways to recycle and reuse materials in vehicles and elsewhere.