How Volvo plans to cut CO2 emissions by more than 40 percent

By Glen White
The largest manufacturing company in the Nordic region, Volvo Car Group has joined forces with global paper products company, Stora Enso to reduce carbo...

The largest manufacturing company in the Nordic region, Volvo Car Group has joined forces with global paper products company, Stora Enso to reduce carbon emissions at Volvo’s manufacturing plant in Belgium by more than 40 percent.

The move is part of Volvo’s long-term commitment to reduce its carbon footprint.

Stora Enso is located within close proximity to Volvo’s manufacturing facility in Belgium allowing the two companies to work together to save energy. In 2015, a 4km long hot water pipeline is being installed between the two plants, which can transport compressed water at a temperature of 125 degrees Celsius from Store Enso to Volvo. This water will be used to bring Volvo’s buildings and paint booths up to temperature. According to both companies, the pipes will be heavily insulated and the heat loss will be less than a few degrees Celsius when the hot water arrives in the car plant.

Volvo Cars will as a direct result substantially reduce its use of fossil fuels for heating purposes, decreasing its CO2 emissions and energy costs. It is estimated that the project will lead to a reduction of 15,000 tons of CO2 per annum, a net decrease of more than 40 percent of total carbon emissions.

Volvo has ambitious plans “to be among the leaders in climate neutral operations and energy efficiency,” it said in a statement. The joint project with Stora Enso makes this ambition a reality and reduces its overall European emissions by 24 percent.

Construction of the pipeline will begin in 2015 and the first hot water will be delivered late 2016.

Promoting sustainable relationships

“We are extremely pleased that two major companies in the port area of Ghent have decided to join forces in a project which benefits us both. Volvo is able to lower its CO2 emissions and energy costs, which is in line with our efforts to improve our internal efficiency and to promote sustainability, both in the cars we make and in our production processes.

“The deal with Stora Enso is one for the long term, rightly supported by the Flemish government. It is also a positive signal for the future, highlighting that Volvo Car Gent is here for the long term. The benefits of the investments will be tangible starting in the latter half of 2016 and in the years to come,” said Eric Van Landeghem, managing director of Volvo Cars in Gent, Belgium.

Chris De Hollander, managing director of Stora Enso said, “The construction of a system of industrial district heating outside our premises and the delivery of external green heat to Volvo Car Gent leads to increased energy efficiency, which is beneficial to the environment and increases the use of our assets.

“This long-term co-operation between the largest paper producer and a major car producer in the Harbor of Ghent fits completely within the intention of the Stora Enso group “Do good for the people and the planet”. The fact that Stora Enso Langerbrugge and Volvo Car Gent shake hands in their pursuit of more sustainable solutions also means strengthening our economic anchoring in the Harbor of Ghent.”

The sustainable project has received financial assistance from the Flemish Government, which provided an ecology subsidy of 2 million euro.


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