Today Volvo announces that, starting with the Volvo C40 Recharge Pure Electric, all electric Volvo models will be made without animal leather, and from 2030, only pure electric cars will be produced. By 2025, the company aims to use 25% recycled and bio-based materials, and additionally it will aim for all direct suppliers, including material suppliers, to use 100 per cent renewable energy by 2025.
Volvo also today releases The Rise of Conscious Design report in collaboration with leading trend forecasting company The Future Laboratory. “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.”
In place of leather, Volvo will seek to source sustainable materials, for example using for its interiors Nordico textiles made from recycled materials such as PET bottles, bio-based material from sustainably managed forests in Sweden and Finland, and recycled corks from the wine industry. The company reports it will continue to offer wool blends “from suppliers certified for responsible sourcing”.
“As a progressive car manufacturer, we need to address all areas of sustainability, not just CO2 emissions,” says Stuart Templar, global sustainability manager at Volvo Cars. “Responsible sourcing, including respect for animal welfare, is an important part of this. Eliminating leather in our electric cars is a good next step.”
“It is a challenge to find products and materials that support animal welfare. But that’s no reason to avoid this important issue,” says Templar. “It is a journey that is worth taking. If you’re progressive and sustainable in your thinking, you have to ask yourself tough questions and actively try to find answers.”