Volvo Group held its Corporate Climate Summit 2012 in Miami, in conjunction with the recent stopover of the Volvo Ocean Race. A nine-month race around the world, it is one of the world’s most demanding global competitions.
The summit is a dialogue and information exchange designed to equip business leaders with new ideas for addressing climate protection. It is also intended to foster discussions on ways to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and promote the WWF (World Wide Fund) Climate Savers program.
WWF’s mission is to stop degradation of the planet’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature.
The Climate Savers program is a partnership between the WWF and businesses “aimed at delivering reductions in CO2 emissions by members companies and in their supply chains,” said Lou Leonard, managing director, WWF
Now in its 12th year, the program has reduced CO2 emissions by some 100 metric tons.
Volvo Group is the world's first vehicle manufacturer to join the WWF Climate Savers Program.
As a leading provider of transport solutions, Volvo Group acknowledges that it needs to be part of the solution to climate change, Olof Persson, its president and CEO, told summit attendees.
To fulfill its Climate Savers commitment, he said the company will take three parallel approaches for product development:
1. Attain high fuel efficiency and low emissions throughout product lifecycle.
2. Develop alternatives that complement the diesel engine, such as hybrid drivelines that offer improved fuel efficiency.
3. Identify and develop engine and vehicle technology for renewable fuels.
The Volvo Group’s long-term ambition is to make all production facilities CO2 neutral, with no additional contribution of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, said Persson.
In 2007, Volvo Trucks unveiled the world’s first CO2 neutral automotive plant in Ghent, Belgium, followed in 2008 by a CO2 neutral dealership facility in Verona, Italy.
Measurements at the Ghent plant show a decrease of 14,000 tons of CO2 annually, and in Sweden, the two plants in Tuve, Gothenburg, and in Umeå are close to becoming carbon neutral, he noted, with no offsets have been used to achieve this.
To make these plants CO2 neutral, Volvo Group has switched to renewable energy for production and heating. In Ghent, for instance, on-site wind turbines and a wood pellet heating system have been installed.
Together, the Volvo Group and the WWF will explore how to catalyze more sustainable movement of freight throughout the transport sector, Persson concluded.
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