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Polestar pledges to build truly climate-neutral cars by 2030

Volvo's EV spinoff says it will do away with with carbon-offset projects, aims instead for a sustainable, pollution-free manufacturing process.

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Any time you see a company proclaim a product, whatever it may be, as "climate neutral" or "carbon neutral", it means the company has made sizable investments in offsetting whatever emissions occur in the production process, as well as those generated by the product itself. And while we don't have the technology to make every product squeaky clean, on Wednesday, Polestar announced that it's on a path to make it happen with its electric automobiles. By 2030, the Volvo spinoff it plans to build climate-neutral cars without the need for any sort of offsetting projects like tree planting.

Titled "Polestar 0 Project," the brand's goal is to rethink the production process for the future, ironing out a system to balance carbon emissions and sell cars without the carbon footprint they currently come with. Although Polestar sells electric cars, there's still a lot of emissions that come from mining battery materials, refining said materials and, of course, building the entire car.

Today? A carbon footprint. Tomorrow? Polestar says hopefully not.

Daniel Golson/Roadshow

It won't be easy, and while it may sound far away, Polestar's 2030 timeframe is pretty ambitious. But the automaker plans to bake this climate goal into all of its business segments. That even includes climate targets for its employee bonus system. The company will hold itself accountable even further with "product sustainability declarations." You know how you see the calorie count for your favorite fast food meal these days? This is in the same vein. Polestar will post a car's carbon footprint and traced risk materials online and at the brand's retail spaces. That way, consumers can see what goes into building a Polestar EV.

Come 2030, however, these carbon-footprint "receipts" won't show a footprint at all, if Polestar has its way.