Volvo’s latest commitment to environmental improvement is to be the first automaker to sign the SteelZero initiative, which aims to promote fossil-free steel production.
As part of its decision, Volvo is committed to strict steel sourcing requirements based on CO2 emissions. This means that by 2030, 50 percent of the steel it uses will be made using one of the following criteria: a responsible steel certificate, low-grade steel with a defined specific emission intensity, or steel that was made at a site where Owners promise the public a long-term emissions reduction.
In addition, Volvo is committed to sourcing 100 percent of its steel from Net-Zero suppliers by 2050. This, the automaker says, is in line with its ambition to be climate-neutral by 2040.
Read more: Mercedes signs agreement with Sweden’s SSAB to supply carbon-neutral steel
“Joining Volvo Cars SteelZero signals a low-emission and global demand signal for net-zero steel and a significant step-change at a critical moment for the automotive industry,” said Jane Carson, industry chief at Climate Group, which launched it. The initiative “This sector plays a central role in conducting steel net-zero transitions.”
Indeed, the steel industry is a major source of pollution. Estimates say steel production is responsible for seven percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Volvo says steel is responsible for an average of 33 percent of its vehicle’s carbon footprint.
Volvo has already partnered with Swedish steelmaker SSAB to build an exhibition vehicle made entirely of carbon-free steel. Through its hybrid project, it wants to make steel in the near future without virtually any carbon footprint.
The automaker says that while the environment is reason enough to participate in SteelZero, it believes it is a clever business decision.
“A sustainable approach to steel production is not only good news for the environment, it’s also good business because it limits our exposure to future climate risks and regulations,” said Carsten Enoxon, Volvo Cars’ chief procurement officer. “By signaling our demand for responsible-source low- and zero-carbon steel, we aim to help drive increased supply in our sector.”