Volvo Group

InfluenceMap Score
C-
Performance Band
63%
Organisation Score
51%
Relationship Score
Sector:
Automobiles
Head​quarters:
Gothenburg, Sweden
Brands and Associated Companies:
Volvo, Renault Trucks, Mack Trucks, 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 2021-23. The company has stated support for high-level climate policy such as the European Green Deal, but appears to take some negative positions on detailed regulation. This includes opposing the Advanced Clean Trucks regulation in multiple US states, as well as a general phase-out date for internal combustion engine-powered (ICE) vehicles in the EU. The company retains memberships to several 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 stated support for the Paris Agreement and advocated for GHG emissions reductions in line with a 1.5°C target in a January 2023 Op-Ed by the CEO. In an April 2022 Op-Ed, Volvo appeared to support the EU's Green Deal, while a March 2022 Twitter post by the company advocated for a net-zero road transport system 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 negatively engaged on GHG standards for vehicles in the US and the EU. In July 2022 comments on federal US Heavy-Duty Engine and Vehicle Standards, Volvo Group appeared to oppose a proposal in the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) “Clean Trucks Plan” that would tighten “Phase 2” GHG emissions standards for heavy-duty vehicles for 2027 and beyond for certain vehicle categories. It argued that the “extremely aggressive” regulation would “fail to produce the anticipated real-world emission reductions” and “undermine the agency’s climate change goals”. However, in a March 2021 US consultation response, Volvo Group appeared to support a GHG emissions reduction target for the transport sector in California.

In the EU, Volvo Group appeared to oppose a general 100% zero-emission CO2 target for heavy-duty vehicles in a December 2022 letter to EU Commission Executive Vice President Frans Timmermans. More positively, Volvo appears to support a carbon tax and emissions trading according to an April 2021 Independent media report. Volvo Group CEO, Martin Lundstedt, expressed support for the expansion of the EU ETS to road transport in a May 2022 ACEA press release.

Positioning on Energy Transition: Volvo appears to have mixed to negative engagement on the decarbonization of heavy-duty road transport in the US and EU, with more positive positioning in the UK. In the EU, Volvo’s CEO appeared to oppose a general ICE phase-out date for heavy-duty vehicles in a December 2022 letter to EU Commission Executive Vice President Frans Timmermans, arguing that “internal combustion engines, powered by fossil-free fuels, will continue to play an important long-term role in a small, but important range of heavy-duty applications”, as well as calling for a “technology-neutral approach”. In an April 2022 open letter, the company appeared to support higher ambition for hydrogen infrastructure in the EU Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR). However, in a May 2022 joint letter, Volvo Group also appeared to advocate for higher ambition in LNG and CNG infrastructure in the regulation. More positively, Volvo Group’s CEO, Martin Lundstedt, signed a joint letter to the European Commission in July 2021 supporting an expansion of renewables in the EU energy mix, and in a January 2023 World Economic Forum (WEF) Op-Ed, called on policymakers for the removal of permitting delays to accelerate the transition towards renewables. In a January 2022 WEF Op-Ed, Volvo’s CEO proposed regulating urban areas across Europe into zero-emission zones.

In the United States, a September 2021 California consultation response from Volvo appeared unsupportive of a stringent 2040 100% ZEV target for heavy-duty vehicles in California, advocating for the inclusion of an allowance for carbon-neutral fuels and low-emission engines. Volvo also opposed the adoption of the Advanced Clean Trucks (ACT) rule, which requires manufacturers to sell increasing percentages of zero-emission trucks, in numerous other states. This includes Oregon in an October 2021 email and New Jersey in a June 2021 consultation response. Volvo also opposed the rule in Colorado in an April 2022 consultation response and New York in a November 2021 oral testimony, as well as in April 2022 public comments to the Clean Air Association of the Northeast States, all submitted by the Partners for a Zero-emission Vehicle Future (PZEVF) coalition (of which Volvo is a member) and found via FOIA request. In a February 2022 Fleet Equipment magazine article, a Volvo Trucks North America senior executive appeared to support a long-term role for the internal combustion engine, stating that “there’s a lot of EV buzz, but for the next 10 to 15 years, diesel will still be the king of the highway”. However, in a January 2022 consultation response, Volvo Group appeared to support specific regulatory measures to accelerate heavy-duty vehicle electrification in the US, including in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and other rules. Volvo also appeared to support measures in the US Inflation Reduction Act, according to a January 2023 New York Times article. In the UK, a September 2021 Volvo Trucks consultation response, obtained via FOI request, supported a UK ban on fossil fuel ICE-powered vehicles in heavy goods vehicles in 2040 or earlier, but with exceptions. The company opposed the highest ambition option, which split the phase-out dates of heavy-duty vehicles into two weight categories, and called for the continued use of the ICE engines powered by gas and “renewable fuels”.

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. Volvo’s CEO, Martin Lundstedt, is Chairman of the Commercial Vehicle Board at the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA), while Chairman of Volvo Group North America, and President of US subsidiary, Mack Trucks, is a National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) board member. Volvo is also a member of the Truck and Engine Manufacturers Association (EMA), which has negative engagement with heavy-duty US climate policy. Both Volvo’s Chairman and CEO are members of the European Round Table for Industry (ERT). In India, a senior executive of Volvo is on a regional board of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the CEO of a Volvo subsidiary is Vice President of the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM). Volvo is a member of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) and one of its German subsidiaries is a member of the 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.

InfluenceMap collects and assesses evidence of corporate climate policy engagement on a weekly basis, depending on the availability of information from each specific data source (for more information see our methodology). While this analysis flows through to the company’s scores each week, the summary above is updated periodically. This summary was last updated in Q1 2023.

QUERIES
DATA SOURCES
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Strength of Relationship
STRONG
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
WEAK
 
56%
 
56%
 
70%
 
70%
 
31%
 
31%
 
36%
 
36%
 
65%
 
65%
 
39%
 
39%
 
68%
 
68%
 
55%
 
55%
 
41%
 
41%

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.