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Volvo’s Main Engine Plant In Sweden Has Gone Entirely Carbon-Neutral

An automaker’s products can be as green as they’d like, but they’re only as environmentally friendly as the manner in which they’re produced. That point isn’t lost on Volvo, which has now reduced the carbon footprint of one of its plants in Sweden down to zero.

The Swedish automaker has now introduced “climate-neutral” heating to its engine plant in Skövde, sourced entirely from waste incineration, biomass, and recycled bio-fuels. Couple that with the electricity that Volvo has, since 2008, sourced for all its European plants exclusively from renewable sources, and you have the company’s first entirely carbon-neutral factory.

“This is a proud moment both for the Skövde plant and for Volvo Cars,” said Stuart Templar, Volvo’s Director for Sustainability. “Environmental care is one of our core values. 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.”

The automaker plans to make all its manufacturing operations worldwide carbon-neutral (like the Skövde plant) by 2025. It’s not the only one, either: rival BMW recently announced its intention to source all its energy requirements worldwide from renewable sources by 2020.

“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’s manufacturing chief Javier Varela. “The Skövde plant achievement is an important addition to our broader efforts in minimising our environmental footprint. We are pleased to be a leader within the automotive industry in the move towards climate-neutral manufacturing.”

Located some 90 miles northeast of its headquarters in Gothenburg, the Skövde plant is the main powertrain facility not only for Volvo cars, but for Volvo trucks as well. It’s one of the largest employers in the city, employing over 4,000 out of the city’s 70,000 residents.
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