Volvo Adds Chinese Plant to its Sustainably Powered Factories

Volvo has added the Chengdu plant to its growing list of factories powered exclusively by renewable electricity.

The plant joins all of its engine plant in Skövde, Sweden, which was the first in the company’s network to become completely climate neutral in 2018. All its European plants have had a climate-neutral electricity supply since 2008. At the Ghent plant in Belgium, Volvo installed 15,000 solar panels in 2018, the first large-scale introduction of solar energy in its global manufacturing network.

The latest factory using only renewable electricity takes the company’s global renewable electricity mix in its manufacturing network to 80%. Chengdu’s new electricity supply contract means the plant, which already sourced 70% of its electricity from renewable sources, now addresses the last 30%.

Under the energy contract, around 65% of the electricity supply comes from hydropower, while the remainder comes from solar power, wind power and other renewable sources. The contract will reduce the plant’s CO2 emissions by more than 11,000 metric tons a year.

Javier Varela, head of industrial operations and quality at Volvo Cars, said: “Our ambition is to reduce our carbon footprint through concrete, tangible actions. Securing a fully renewable electricity supply for our largest plant in China is a significant milestone and underlines our commitment to taking concrete, meaningful action.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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