Volvo’s current climate-neutral environmental plan relies on hydropower for 100% of its manufacturing.
Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG
- Jan. 27, 2008
Volvo is becoming more environmentally friendly in its home country with some of its manufacturing plant power supplied by the Vattenfall Hydropower plant in Hojum, Sweden (shown). Another way Volvo is attempting to become carbon-neutral.
Gφteborg, Sweden - Volvo today announced a new agreement with Sweden's Vattenfall and Belgium's Electrabel covering all the electricity consumed by Volvo Cars Corporation in those two countries. In practical terms, this means that the electrical utility providers sell certificates that guarantee all electricity delivered to Volvo Cars in Sweden and Belgium has been generated from hydropower covering about 1000 GWh (gigawatt hours) or electrical power.
"We aim to use renewable energy to the greatest possible extent and hydropower is the best alternative that our suppliers can offer at present," says Magnus Hellsten, Senior Vice President, Manufacturing at Volvo Cars.
Hydro power is only the start as manufacturing, design and engineering sites in other areas are being retrofitted for both higher efficiency in the near term and later to use biogas and wind-turbine produced electricity as their own 100% environmentally friendly power solution.
Decades-long drive to being oil-free
Volvo Cars' search for other non-oil energy sources has been going on for more than 25 years. In 1982 the company took the first step by using residual heat from nearby refineries to heat the factory in Torslanda. In 1988 the company started using natural gas, which is now the main fuel for heating its factories in both Sweden and Belgium.
Driving production efficiency
"Although the areas we heat have almost doubled in size over the years, we have nonetheless managed to maintain energy consumption at a constant level. In fact, in recent years we have actually managed to cut energy usage owing to a number of successful projects and campaigns," said Mihkel Laks, Director Environmental Protection with Volvo Cars.
Ford (Volvo’s parent) has had recent problems where its product lineup and profits are concerned but it is becoming known as a leader in the US with its own environmentally friendly manufacturing initiatives. Volvo’s carbon neutral plans in Europe simply add to the corporation’s burgeoning green identity.
Volvo is 100% owned by Ford Motor Company and as part of Ford's Premier Automotive Group (PAG), is directly responsible for the development of hybrid technology for both the PAG and Ford of Europe.