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Zero waste to landfill at Volvo CE

In a bid to reduce its environmental impact and become more circular, Volvo CE is committed to making its operations more efficient - by reducing waste, increasing reuse and recycling. Its Changwon plant in Korea is the fourth facility to achieve certified landfill free status, but this is just the start.

The Changwon plant, which specializes in the production of crawler excavators, wheeled excavators and their components, is the fourth Volvo CE site to achieve the Zero Landfill certification, joining sites in Pederneiras, Brazil, Shippensburg, USA and Braås in Sweden. Certification was awarded following a comprehensive audit from the Volvo Group Environmental Committee. 

“Environmental care is one of our core values as we look to reduce our impact on climate and resources wherever we can,” explains Naeki Bae, Head of Safety and Environment at Volvo CE Changwon. “In 2018, we set the target to achieve landfill free status and put in place a robust action plan. Reuse and recycling are priorities - we have improved the recycling rate at Changwon from 83.6% in 2015 to 95.5% today. And we are continuously looking for ways to improve even further.”

Reducing waste from its operations is just one of many the company is undertaking as part of its global commitment to support the transition to a circular economy and ensure improved resource efficiency. By prolonging product lifecycles, reusing what can be reused, recycling waste, and continuously reducing the environmental impact of its product in use, as well as its operations, Volvo CE is committed to achieving net zero value chain greenhouse gas emissions by 2040, as part of its Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). 

Separate, sort, recycle & disposal

A comprehensive waste separation system ensures as much waste is recycled as possible, and each department has waste reduction targets. Waste is collected and classified before being transported to waste contractors for recycling or disposal. 

But the process of environmental management begins long before that, at the design phase of the production process, with teams from across manufacturing, engineering, materials management, and the environment working together to conduct environmental impact assessments to understand and develop processes for the effective management of any waste material.

With the support of the Volvo CE Sustainability team and waste treatment partners, solutions for the reuse, recycling, and disposal of waste materials with the lowest environmental impact can be found. 

“We’ve come a long way in a relatively short period of time,” says Youngin Jung, Head of Environment at Volvo CE Changwon. “With a step-by-step approach to separate, sort and measure waste on the shop-floor – where it is produced - before collating and disposing of via verified waste companies, we have a robust system in place and the insights to make further improvements.”


Åsa Alström

Head of Strategic Communications
Volvo Construction Equipment