Volvo is stepping up in the environmental friendliness stakes – its engine factory in Skövde, Sweden has attained carbon-neutral status, the company’s first facility worldwide to do so, courtesy of its switch to renewable heating from the beginning of this year.

The Skövde plant is one of the few automotive plants in the world that is climate-neutral and marks a significant step towards the company’s goal of making its global manufacturing operations carbon-neutral by 2025, said Volvo. This has been enabled by a new agreement between Volvo Cars and the local energy provider, which ensures that the Skövde facility receives heating from waste incineration, biomass and recycled bio-fuels.

“Environmental care is one of our core values. 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,” said Stuart Templar, Volvo Cars director for sustainability.

The marque’s production plant in Ghent, Belgium, introduced a district heating system which reduced CO2 emissions by 40%, saving 15,000 tonnes of CO2 annually, the company added. “We will continue to work actively with our energy suppliers in all regions to secure further access to renewable energy for our manufacturing plants,” said Javier Varela, Volvo Cars senior vice president of manufacturing and logistics.