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Volvo Cars are the first car manufacturer that has signed up for the SteelZero initiative to increase the demand for fossil-free steel and help generate the switch to carbon neutrality in the global steel industry.

Leading the way for other car manufacturers, Volvo has committed to SteelZero and therefore committed to using 100% fossil-free steel by 2050, as well as saving to 50% of their steel that is created by 2030 must be responsibly sourced and produced with low carbon emissions, taking into account the end of life scrap also. This aligns with Volvo’s ambition to become climate neutral by 2040.

SteelZero is launched by the Climate Group in partnership with ResponsibleSteel, which is a steel industry-standard certification body that Volvo Cars has also joined, so that Volvo can gain reliable access to third-party verified/audited information about its steel supply chain and relevant sustainability credentials, with the aim to ensure it is responsibly sourced.

Steel production creates an average of 7% of all greenhouse gas emissions

A significant consequence of steel production within automotive manufacturers is the high CO2 emissions released. On average, 33% of production-related emissions result from steel production when producing a new Volvo car in 2021. Worldwide, steel production is responsible for an average of 7% of all greenhouse gas emissions.

“Volvo Cars joining SteelZero marks an important step-change in the global demand signal for low emission and net-zero steel, and a pivotal moment for the automotive industry. This sector plays a central role in driving the net-zero transition of steel. It supports the creation of a decarbonised steel market internationally that can enable the sector to meet its net-zero targets and deliver a product that is truly aligned with the climate agenda.” - Jen Carson, head of industry at Climate Group.

Last year, Volvo cars also announced a collaboration with Swedish steel maker SSAB to merge and explore the development of fossil-free steel through SSAB’s HYBRIT initiative. HYBRIT aims to replace coking coal, traditionally used for iron ore-based steelmaking, with fossil-free electricity and hydrogen. The result is expected to be the world’s first fossil-free steelmaking technology, with virtually no carbon footprint.

It seems SteelZero is just the latest initiative taken by Volvo to address the high carbon emissions released daily with steel made from fossil fuels. Volvo Cars aim to become a fully electric car manufacturer by 2030, with plans to release fully electric cars in the years to come. Not to mention, all Volvo Cars European manufacturing plants run on 100% clean electricity, and their Torslanda plant in Sweden is also fully climate-neutral.

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Vida Azizi 01/11/22