Volvo Switches to Renewable Fuels For Ocean Freight to Cut Fossil Emissions by 84%

Volvo Cars switches to renewable fuels for ocean freight that will cut fossil CO2 emissions by 84%

Every year tens of thousands of containers of production material destined for Volvo Cars factories are carried across the world’s oceans on container ships. From now on, most of these journeys are to be made with renewable fuels instead of traditional fossil fuels.

Volvo said that the renewable fuel change had produced an immediate reduction in fossil emissions from intercontinental ocean freight by 55,000 tonnes over a year. By using renewable fuels, emissions are reduced by at least 84% compared to fossil fuels. The reduction Volvo said is equivalent to the emissions of a full truck driving around the equator about 1,200 times.

The fuel the Swedish automaker is using is Fatty Acid Methyl Esters (FAME) and is based on renewable and sustainable sources, mainly waste cooking oil. No feedstock related to palm oil or palm oil production is used.

Renewable fuel is also used for inbound ocean container transports of production material destined for manufacturing plants based in Europe and the Americas, as well as all spare parts distribution made globally by ocean container transports.

“Renewable fuel is not the end game for removing CO2 from the world’s ocean freight needs,” says Anders Kärrberg, head of sustainability at Volvo. “Yet this initiative shows that we can act now and implement solutions that achieve significant results during the wait for long-term technological alternatives.”

“We don’t view this initiative as a competitive advantage,” Kärrberg adds. “On the contrary, we want to spark other car makers into action as well, to increase demand for carbon-efficient ocean transports and to establish renewable fuels as a mid-term solution that works. We all have a responsibility to act.”

The renewable fuel itself is certified and not produced in competition with food crops. It is therefore sustainable in accordance with the EU Renewable Energy Directive.

“We’re continually exploring sustainability opportunities across all aspects of our supply chain, and across our overall business. Our list of initiatives keeps growing as we work towards our ambition of becoming a climate-neutral company by 2040,” said Kärrberg.