Swedish car maker Volvo has launched a new ethical and environmentally friendly policy to use renewable and sustainable materials in its cars.
New C40 SUV marks a switch to renewable cabin fabrics
The new policy is part of the company's aim to become fully sustainable, and is being launched hand in hand with its plans to be a fully electric car maker by 2030. One of the first steps towards this is the arrival of the new C40 Recharge, an all-electric coupe-SUV that shares its running gear with the XC40 Recharge. The C40 will be the first Volvo to be completely leather-free, with sustainable alternatives used in its place. It comes as Volvo looks to reduce its environmental impact at a production level.
One such replacement material is Nordico, a fabric that combines recycled PET plastics, so-called bio-attributed materials from Scandinavian forests and recycled cork. Elsewhere, wool blends will be used, and these too will come from responsible sources that are certified as offering good animal welfare. This won't be seen in new Volvos straight away, but gives a clear indication of the direction that the company is going in.
By 2025, Volvo is aiming to have at least 25 per cent of the materials used in its cars to be recycled or bio-based content. Further up the production chain, it's aiming for its immediate material suppliers to use 100 per cent renewable energy by 2025.
The Rise Of Conscious Design
As part of its new philosophy of sustainable materials, Volvo has joined forces with forecasting company The Future Laboratory to publish The Rise Of Conscious Design: A Report About Tomorrow's Materials, a report that gathers existing research and new interviews together to establish Volvo's vision of how it uses materials in future vehicle production.
A recent report by the Vogue Business Index revealed that two-thirds of consumers consider a brand's environmental policies when purchasing luxury products. A similar number of consumers would also like to see clearer labelling that shows the environmental impact of luxury products and the materials they're made from.
This has provided Volvo with the impetus to look at using sustainable materials in its new cars, so by the time it has an all-electric range in 2030, it will also have a lower environmental impact overall. "We have a vision of where we need to go in the future, with the first step to ensure we harness sustainable, natural and recycled materials," said Robin Page, Head of Design at Volvo Cars. "The next challenge is to change what we do with these materials, whether that's making car parts that last forever, re-enter the circular economy or go back into the earth."