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Volvo partners with WWF to reduce carbon emissions

The Volvo Group, which includes Volvo Construction Equipment, Volvo Trucks and Mack Trucks, has announced that it has joined the World Wide Fund for Nature?s (WWF) Climate Savers programme. As a WWF partner, the Volvo Group?s truck companies have pledged to reduce carbon (CO2) emissions from vehicles manufactured between 2009 and 2013 by 13 million tonnes on the equivalent 2008 models.

The WWF created the Climate Savers programme over a decade ago to mobilise leading companies to cut their CO2 emissions in absolute terms and lead on the issue of climate change. In this time more than 20 companies have participated in the Climate Savers programme, including Coca Cola, Nokia, Sony, Hewlett-Packard, Polaroid, Nike and construction materials major LaFarge.

The agreement between the Volvo Group and the WWF will apply for Volvo Group companies Mack Trucks, Volvo Trucks, Renault Truck and UD Trucks. Aside from cutting 13 million tonnes of CO2 emitted during their lifetime by trucks manufactured and sold between 2009 and 2014 (by introducing cutting edge fuel technologies), Volvo Group has pledged to produce a truck prototype with 20 per cent lower fuel consumption than the equivalent 2008 model, will offer trucks in the commercial market that run on renewable gas before 2014 and reduce CO2 emissions from its production plants by 0.5 million tonnes before 2014 (a 12 per cent reduction of its 2008 emission levels).

?The partnership with WWF means that we are raising our already ambitious goals in relation to cutting the CO2 emissions of our products,? declared Leif Johansson, the chief executive of Volvo Group. ?Our shared vision is that future transport will be CO2 neutral. It won?t be easy but if anyone can do it, Volvo can.?

Independent technical experts from Ecofys, a consultancy company in renewable energy, energy efficiency and climate change, will monitor Volvo Group?s progress on an annual basis and ensure that the Group complies with the targets defined in its agreement with WWF.

Leif Johansson said that it was unique for a global vehicle manufacturer to engage an outside party such as WWF to oversee that it meets its targets.

?As the first vehicle manufacturer to be selected to participate in the Climate Savers programme, we have been presented with a real challenge, yet by focusing on lower CO2 emissions, we believe that we can create more value for our customers? business while contributing to sustainable development at the same time,? he said.

He cited that Volvo already invests significant resources in technologies that strive to reduce the emissions of its products and production units while increasing fuel efficiency. This includes alternative drive lines such as hybrid solutions and engines that are optimised for renewable fuels. In 2007, Volvo opened the world?s first CO2-neutral vehicle plant in Ghent, Belgium with wind-generated electricity. Its long term ambition is that all of its vehicle plants will eventually be carbon neutral.

If Volvo is able to meet the agreed goal, it will not only be the first vehicle manufacturer to join the WWF Climate Savers programme but will become the leader of the transport industry in the reduction of greenhouse gases.

?The transport sector has a very large impact on the climate. Voluntary initiatives from this sector are of utmost importance,? said H?kan Wirt?n, the secretary general of WWF Sweden. ?Volvo Group aims to take leadership in the transport sector?s efforts to combat climate change and will act as an inspiring example of how climate action and business development can go hand in hand.?

Sources: Volvo Group, WWF International

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