Car manufacturers must be very environmentally friendly these days and it‘s great. However, they often focus on two things – making cars greener and making factories more efficient. But car manufacturers are huge companies that produce all kinds of waste. Now Volvo Cars has announced that it supports the UN Environment Clean Seas campaign and will stop using single-use plastics by the end of 2019.
Now, what kind of single-use plastics Volvo could be using? Plates, cups, food containers and cutlery are the main ones scattered throughout Volvo’s offices, canteens and events. It is not unusual – all major companies and even non-profit organizations are guilty of extreme plastic pollution. Volvo will replace these items with more environmentally friendly alternatives such as products made of paper, pulp and wood. It is estimated that this step will eliminate over 500 plastic items per employee per year. This is a huge process which will be tackled incrementally – at first single-use plastics will be removed from global events and facilities in China, Belgium, the United States, Sweden and Malaysia, later – from national companies and smaller local events.
World’s oceans are littered with plastic waste and a lot of it is packages and single-use items. Volvo is happy not waiting for regulations and making a move now. By the end of the year Volvo will reduce its plastic waste by 140 tonnes, which is already a great result. Stuart Templar, Director for Sustainability at Volvo Cars, said: “Plastics pollution is one of the great environmental challenges of our time. We take our responsibility seriously. We must play our part in helping tackle this global problem”. There is no denying that Volvo loves oceans and sustainability – two key elements of the Formula 1 of the sailing world the Volvo Ocean Race.
Several of the boats in the 2018-19 edition of the Volvo Ocean Race will be equipped with special sensors that will be gathering data about marine life in some of the most remote locations of Earth. Volvo Ocean Race is a huge global event and carrying a positive message about the environment has always been its key element, but now boats will actually serve double duty – they will be participating in the race while also being crucial tools of research.
Volvo wants all its factories to be climate-neutral by 2025. This means that all the waste must be recycles and all emissions must be neutral through the use of sustainable energy. This goal is extremely ambitious, but the engine plant in Skövde, Sweden, already became the first climate-neutral facility of Volvo Cars.