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Volvo wants to be climate-neutral by 2040

The Swedish automaker is taking a multipronged approach to reducing its environmental impact.

Volvo is gunning to slash its environmental impact.

Volvo/Roadshow

Climate change is a potentially catastrophic global issue, but at least one automaker is taking dramatic steps to reduce its impact on the environment.

Volvo announced today that between the years 2018 and 2025 it plans to slash the life cycle carbon footprint of its vehicles by 40 percent. During that period, it's also gunning to make its manufacturing operations climate-neutral. Even more ambitious than that, the Chinese-owned Swedish firm is aiming to be entirely climate-neutral by 2040.

These goals dovetail nicely with the Paris Climate Agreement of 2015. This international accord seeks to put the brakes on increasing global temperatures, slowing them down to 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels.

But how does Volvo, a manufacturer of heavy industrial goods, plan to go green? Well, its strategy is multifaceted, going far beyond merely limiting tailpipe emissions, though it will also do that by focusing heavily on offering electrified vehicles. The automaker says it's tackling the climate change problem from top to bottom by reducing carbon emissions in its manufacturing processes, operations and supply chain. Volvo says it will also recycle and reuse as many materials as possible.

As announced previously, the automaker is gunning to have half of all the vehicles it sells globally operated by electricity. This alone would put it ahead of the curve on reducing tailpipe emissions by the year 2025. Volvo management also wants a 25 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from its worldwide supply chain and manufacturing operations, and for all its new vehicles to contain at least 25 percent recycled plastics.

From here on out, every new Volvo introduced will be electrified as the automaker plans to phase out internal combustion. Spearheading this transformation, the company announced its first EV today, the XC40 Recharge.

Whether you agree with climate change or not, everyone wants clean air to breath and fresh water to drink. It's nice to see Volvo working to reduce its environmental impact in a tangible way.

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