3:00 AM | May 30 2018

Plastics not fantastic for Volvo offices and events

Volvo offices, canteens and events to switch items such as cups, food containers and cutlery from single-use plastic to biodegradable materials by end of 2019.

More than 20 million single-use plastics replaced with more sustainable alternatives. More than 140 tonnes of single-use plastic items replaced with plastic-free alternatives in 2018 alone.
 
These mind-boggling figures will be the result of a new Volvo Cars initiative to remove single-use plastics from all its offices, canteens and events across the globe.
 
As part of its active support of the UN Environment Clean Seas campaign and the company’s commitment to minimising its global environmental footprint, Volvo will by the end of 2019 switch items such as cups, food containers and cutlery for biodegradable products made of paper, pulp and wood.
 
The switch, which equates to the removal of over 500 plastic items per employee per year, will be implemented incrementally.

By the end of 2018, single-use plastics will be removed from global events such as car launches, as well as from all offices and restaurants in Volvo Cars facilities in China, Belgium, the United States, Sweden and Malaysia. During 2019, all national sales companies (NSCs) will eradicate single-use plastics from their operations, including local events. “Plastics pollution is one of the great environmental challenges of our time,” said Stuart Templar, Director for Sustainability at Volvo Cars. “We take our responsibility seriously. We must play our part in helping tackle this global problem.” Lisa Emelia Svensson, Director of Ocean at UN Environment, praised Volvo’s initiative, saying action from the private sector was key to making progress in the fight against plastic pollution and raising awareness.
 
“We cannot wait for a binding legislative agreement,” she said. “In the next 10 to 15 years global plastic production is projected to nearly double, parts of which will end up in oceans if we do not change today. We welcome Volvo Cars saying no to single-use plastics and it’s great to see it leading by example.”

Volvo Cars’ action on single-use plastics follows its extensive financial support for the Volvo Ocean Race’s Science Programme.  
 
Several of the boats in the 2018-19 edition of the Race are equipped with sensors that are capturing data on marine health from some of the remotest parts of the world’s oceans, including levels of micro plastics. As you will have read elsewhere in this edition of I Roll, a global Volvo Beach Clean-up project will also mark World Environment Day, and the company is aiming for fully electric cars to comprise half its global sales by 2025.