Volvo Group

InfluenceMap Score
C-
Performance Band
66%
Organisation Score
48%
Relationship Score
Sector:
Automobiles
Head​quarters:
Gothenburg, Sweden
Brands and Associated Companies:
Volvo, Renault Trucks, Mack, Nova Bus
Official Web Site:
Wikipedia:

Climate Lobbying Overview: Volvo Group is engaging with a variety of strands of climate policy with mixed positions in 2020-21. The company has stated support for high-level climate policy such as the European Green Deal, but appears to take mixed positions on detailed regulation, including California’s Advanced Clean Trucks Regulation designed to encourage the uptake of zero-emissions trucks. The company retains memberships to a number of trade associations known to be obstructive on climate policy.

Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: Volvo Group appears to have positive top-line messaging on climate policy in line with the recommendations of the IPCC. The company has stated support for the Paris Agreement on its corporate website, and has advocated for GHG emissions reductions in line with a 1.5°C target in its 2020 Sustainability Report, published in 2021. In September 2020, the company’s CEO, Martin Lundstedt, signed a joint letter supporting the EU’s Green Deal and a 2050 climate neutrality target. In an April 2020 Bloomberg article, Volvo Group also stated its support for a “green recovery” from COVID-19 for the EU in line with a net zero by 2050. In November 2021, Volvo Group expressed broad support for government policy or intervention around carbon pricing in COP26-related online communications, as well as advocating for the EU Fit for 55 package, with reference to the need for greater global ambition to reduce greenhouse gases.

Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: Volvo Group appears to be engaged on GHG standards for vehicles in the US and EU. Volvo’s 2019 Sustainability Report, published in 2020, stated that EU efforts to regulate CO2 emissions from heavy-duty vehicles proceeded with “broad support from the Volvo Group”. In September 2020, the CEO of Volvo Group signed a joint letter supporting a 55% 2030 EU CO2 emissions target for vehicles. In a March 2021 US consultation response, Volvo Group also appeared to support a GHG emissions reduction target for the transport sector in California.

However, in the US, a June 2020 consultation response from Volvo Group appeared to advocate for weaker GHG emissions standards for vocational vehicle engines, while a February 2020 US consultation response from Volvo Group argued that increasing federal emissions and GHG standards for vehicles will “further elevate system complexity while posing considerable financial and reputational risk” for original equipment manufacturers. In a November 2021 EU consultation response, Volvo Group expressed support for the extension of the EU ETS to road transport, while also appearing to support emissions trading in an April 2021 Independent media report.

Positioning on Energy Transition: Volvo Group generally appears to support the decarbonization of road transport. In a November 2021 press release, the company appeared to support measures towards the electrification of transportation, such as an EV charging network expansion. In a January 2022 European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) press release, Volvo Group CEO, Martin Lundstedt, supported ambitious EV charging targets for truck-specific infrastructure in the proposed Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR). Similarly, in a November 2021 EU consultation response, Volvo Group directly advocated to policymakers to support more ambitious EV charging infrastructure targets in the EU, also highlighting the need for hydrogen and e-fuels to decarbonize transport. Volvo Group’s CEO also signed a joint letter to the European Commission in July 2021 supporting an expansion of renewables in the EU energy mix, and in January 2022 World Economic Forum Op-Ed, Lundstedt called on EU policymakers to regulate urban areas across Europe into zero-emission zones.

In a September 2021 consultation response on when to phase out the sale of new, non-zero emission heavy goods vehicles in the UK, obtained via FOI, Volvo Trucks (a subsidiary of Volvo Group) supported a UK ban on fossil fuel internal combustion engines in heavy goods vehicles in 2040 or earlier, but with exceptions. The company opposed the highest ambition option, which would involve a split in the phase out dates of HGVs into two weight categories, and called for the continued use of the internal combustion engine powered by gas and “renewable fuels” in heavy haulage vehicles. In the United States, Volvo Group appeared to support the decarbonization of transport in California in a March 2021 US consultation response. A September 2021 California consultation response from the company, appeared to support California's 2040 100% ZEV target for passenger trucks with major exceptions, stating that ZEVs should include ICE vehicles powered by "carbon-neutral fuels", and advocating for ZEV targets between 2036-39 to remain at 2035 levels.

Industry Association Governance: Volvo Group has published an Industry Associations Climate Review on a dedicated webpage within its corporate website entitled 'Engaging in Public Policy’. However, this review lacks detailed information on how the company influences or attempts to influence the climate policy positions of the industry association it engages with. Volvo Group is a member of numerous obstructive trade associations. The chairman of Volvo Group, Carl-Henric Svanberg is the chair of European Round Table for Industry (ERT) and the company’s CEO, Martin Lundstedt, is on the board of the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA). The president of major subsidiary, Mack Trucks, is on the board of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), while a senior executive of another Volvo Group subsidiary (UD Trucks Corporation) is an executive director of Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA). A number of other Volvo Group subsidiaries are also members of the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) and German Automotive Association (VDA).

A detailed assessment of the company's corporate review on climate policy engagement can be found on InfluenceMap's CA100+ Investor Hub here.

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Strength of Relationship
STRONG
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
WEAK
 
50%
 
50%
 
61%
 
61%
 
28%
 
28%
 
43%
 
43%
 
67%
 
67%
 
36%
 
36%
 
54%
 
54%
 
41%
 
41%
 
45%
 
45%
 
48%
 
48%

How to Read our Relationship Score Map

In this section, we depict graphically the relationships the corporation has with trade associations, federations, advocacy groups and other third parties who may be acting on their behalf to influence climate change policy. Each of the columns above represents one relationship the corporation appears to have with such a third party. In these columns, the top, dark section represents the strength of the relationship the corporation has with the influencer. For example if a corporation's senior executive also held a key role in the trade association, we would deem this to be a strong relationship and it would be on the far left of the chart above, with the weaker ones to the right. Click on these grey shaded upper sections for details of these relationships. The middle section contains a link to the organization score details of the influencer concerned, so you can see the details of its climate change policy influence. Click on the middle sections for for details of the trade associations. The lower section contains the organization score of that influencer, the lower the more negatively it is influencing climate policy.