Volvo Cars Earns Platinum Medal Sustainability Rating

Among Volvo's numerous environmental programs to combat climate change, the Clean Seas initiative calls for 25% recycled plastic in its vehicle interiors by 2025. (Volvo Car USA)

Volvo Cars has earned a Platinum Medal rating from EcoVadis for its sustainability performance. The distinction puts Volvo among the top 1% of 75,000 companies, according to EcoVadis assessments, and underscores Volvo's commitment to environmentally responsible operations.

EcoVadis is an organization that analyzes and scores businesses' environmental and sustainability efforts. It releases assessment results using scorecards within four broad categories: environment, ethics, labor and human rights, and sustainable procurement. It also rates companies using a tiered award level.

The EcoVadis Platinum Medal rating reflects Volvo's implementation of a comprehensive climate plan to tackle carbon emissions and a rapid shift to electric vehicles (EVs). Volvo wants to put one million electrified cars on the road by 2025 and become a carbon-neutral company by 2040.

Volvo said the EcoVadis assessment strengthens the automaker's position "as one of the most sustainability-minded companies in the car industry," and that this EcoVadis rating is another point of evidence that the automaker's carbon reduction and, ultimately, carbon neutrality efforts are a top priority.

"Sustainability is as important as safety to us at Volvo Cars," said Anders Kärrberg, head of global sustainability at Volvo Cars, in a statement. "We are taking action across the board to ensure we become a more sustainable business, including through reduction of our carbon footprint. It is encouraging that EcoVadis, through its rigid assessment, now confirms that we are on the right track."

Volvo's environmental strategy includes a plan for half of the vehicles the company sells in 2025 to be fully electric. The Volvo XC40 Recharge is the first of several EVs coming from the automaker, with the next model set for a reveal soon.

Volvo also expects to reduce its lifecycle carbon footprint per car by 40% by 2025, compared to a 2018 baseline on the way to the company's target of becoming carbon-neutral by 2040. Achieving this goal will require reducing carbon emissions at its manufacturing sites and other operations and working with its suppliers to reduce their CO2 output.

Volvo will also increase its efforts to recycle and reuse materials. EcoVadis cited these efforts, as well as the automaker's work to protect labor rights and to promote diversity and inclusion in its workforce of 41,500-full-time employees, in handing out the Platinum-level award

Only the top 1% of businesses receive a Platinum Medal designation from EcoVadis. Other ratings follow a familiar Olympic medal structure: Gold, then Silver, then Bronze. The group has given out over 120,000 ratings for 75,000 companies in 160 countries. EcoVadis's methodology uses international sustainability standards. Scientific experts knowledgeable about sustainability and the supply chain oversee the program.

In late January, EcoVadis awarded the Europcar Mobility Group a Gold rating for its environmental responsibility efforts in 2020.

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