Volvo announced this week that its engine factory in Skövde, Sweden, has achieved climate-neutral status as of Jan. 1. It's Volvo's first plant in its global network to hit this mark, and it's only one of a small handful of climate-neutral automotive facilities in Europe.
Reaching climate-neutral status means that a specific business has zero climate-related impact on the surrounding environment, and it usually relates to carbon dioxide emissions. In Volvo's case, the company hit this target by moving to a renewable heating source that is only generated through biomass, recycled bio-fuels and waste incineration.
Skövde's electricity already comes from renewable sources, a move that's shared by all of Volvo's other European plants. Some of those other plants also use alternative heating systems -- its plant in Belgium, for example, uses a heating system that cut carbon emissions by 40 percent. It's not 100 percent, but it's a move in the right direction.
"Environmental care is one of our core values," said Stuart Templar, Volvo's director of sustainability, in a statement. "Along with our plan to electrify all new Volvo cars launched from 2019, climate-neutral manufacturing operations will significantly reduce our overall carbon footprint, supporting global efforts to tackle climate change."