Construction Equipment GLOBAL

ENVIRONMENT

Spotted in Sweden

In this article: Sustainability Wheel loaders

This season’s animal prints not only feature on the fashion catwalks of Paris, London and New York, but also on a Volvo machine designed for a catwalk of a different kind…

Having undergone a makeover at the paint shop, a Volvo L90F wheel loader featuring striking cheetah-print paintwork has found a new home in the cheetah area of Parken Zoo in Eskilstuna, Sweden.

The exotic contribution from Volvo CE symbolizes the cooperation between the two organizations, representing Volvo CE’s commitment to caring for the environment and its support for the zoo’s efforts to preserve biodiversity and save our endangered species.

Environmental care is one of the company’s three core values, along with quality and safety, and Volvo CE is widely acknowledged for its environmental stance. For example, less than a year ago, at the end of 2013, the company achieved carbon neutrality at its 45,000m2 articulated hauler facility at Braås in southern Sweden which relies entirely on renewable energy sources including wind, biomass and hydropower. It is the first facility of its kind in the industry.

More than any other manufacturer, Volvo has built its reputation on the foundation of environmental care and sustainability. A leading advocate for sustainability, the company has made pioneering inroads into fuel efficiency, including operator training schemes to encourage fuel efficient driving.

Volvo CE’s 45,000m² carbon neutral facility at Braås, Sweden

CLIMATE CHALLENGE HEATS UP

Volvo CE estimates that 90% of its climate impact is indirect, resulting from the use of its machines in nearly all stages of the construction industry cycle. The company’s worldwide network is an ideal route to major stakeholders throughout the construction industry and Volvo is convinced that working with partners is the most effective way to reduce its own climate impact.

“We’ve been working on reducing emissions through our own internal initiatives for many years, and with considerable success,” says Volvo CE President Martin Weissburg, adding: “However, we cannot address climate issues by ourselves.”

In the belief that the industry as a whole, not just construction equipment, can achieve more by working together, Volvo CE is promoting the Construction Climate Challenge (CCC). This new global initiative drives forward the entire construction industry’s responsibility to counteract any negative impact it makes on the environment.

To this end, Volvo CE has convened an industry summit in Gothenburg, Sweden, for 24 June 2015 with the goal of influencing the construction supply chain, from the extraction of materials from quarries through to the construction of buildings and laying of roads. It will be the climax to a series of global events and conferences designed for maximum exposure. The aim of the CCC over a period of three years is not only to encourage awareness, but also to stimulate dialogue among industry representatives, academics and politicians. It is providing funds for new research from around the world and is already creating a forum to share existing knowledge and resources to help the industry make a difference. Academic research is at the heart of the CCC and it is hoped that the forum will act as a bridge between the construction industry and sustainability research and well as promoting collaboration between academics and the industry. By evaluating results and improvements, the CCC will establish focus areas for a further three-year cycle, as well as creating awareness and encouraging engagement.

COMMITTED PARTNER

The CCC is part of Volvo CE’s commitment to the World Wide Fund for Nature’s (WWF) Climate Savers program to be a ‘climate leader’. Volvo CE was the first company in the construction industry to partner with the program, an initiative that requires participating corporations to commit to cutting carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in their operations. The program aims to inspire companies to change their thinking about solutions to respond to climate change and Volvo CE has pledged to cooperate with WWF as a CCC core partner and advisor.

The original agreement with WWF Climate Savers had Volvo CE, along with the other companies within the Volvo Group, committed to reducing CO2 emissions from production plants by 2014 by 12% from 2008 levels without resorting to carbon offsets to achieve the objectives. Volvo CE is committed to following through by developing new technology leading to even better fuel efficiency and lower emissions. The company is also committed to improving site efficiency for customers in a further bid to reduce CO2 emissions. Volvo CE also plans to develop current operator training and site simulation to promote fuel efficiency improvements.

CHINA FIRST

As part of the agreement with WWF Climate Savers, SDLG, Volvo CE’s other brand and joint-venture partner in China, became the first Chinese company to commit to the program. The Volvo Group has been a member of the Climate Savers initiative since 2010 – it was the first heavy-duty truck manufacturer to sign up to the agreement, and Volvo Buses is also on-board.

Since the program started in 1999, Climate Savers member companies have cut their CO2 emissions by more than 100 million tonnes – about twice the current yearly CO2 emissions of Switzerland – while creating competitive advantage and increasing shareholder value. 

Click here to watch a video introducing the Construction Climate Challenge

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