Volvo Cars North America Earns Key Environmental Certification
18 April 2000Volvo Cars North America Earns Key Environmental Certification
ROCKLEIGH, N.J., April 18 Volvo's U.S. headquarters has earned an internationally prestigious ISO 14001 designation, a recognition of Volvo's environmentally sound corporate management programs by the International Organization for Standardization in Geneva, Switzerland. While the ISO 14001 designation for Volvo Cars North America's U.S. operations is new, Volvo has previously been awarded ISO 14001 certifications in other areas of the world for its environmental management systems. "ISO 14001 certification for our North American headquarters reaffirms that the environment is one of our three core values, along with safety and quality," says Hans-Olov Olsson, President and CEO of Volvo Cars North America. Part of a package of voluntary measures developed by more than 100 member nations of the international standards organization, ISO 14001 registration is an environmental benchmark recognized as significant by automakers, manufacturers, and environmentalists worldwide. ISO 14001 registration signifies that Volvo's U.S. headquarters meets wide-ranging criteria dealing with stringent environmental management systems and practices that ensure cleaner and more sustainable operations. The ISO 14001 registration for its North American headquarters is the latest in a long history of environmental milestones achieved by Volvo. For example, Volvo was the first automaker to declare its environmental commitment at the United Nations Conference on the Environment in 1972. Then, in 1976, Volvo introduced the 3-way catalytic converter and Lambda Sond sensor to the auto industry, bringing to American highways a system that eliminated nearly 95% of hydrocarbons, oxides of nitrogen, and carbon monoxide from vehicle tailpipe emissions. In 1998, Volvo introduced a demonstration fleet of bi-fuel S70 sedans and V70 wagons, fueled either by clean-burning compressed natural gas or unleaded gasoline. While the bi-fuel fleet is used exclusively for technology demonstration projects here in North America, such vehicles have been commercially available to European and Australian customers for several years. During the latter part of the 1990s, Volvo developed its unique Environmental Priorities System (EPS) in conjunction with the Swedish Environmental Research Institute and the Swedish Federation of Industries. EPS is a trailblazing measurement system designed to calculate the total impact each Volvo car has on the Earth's environment -- from the manufacturing process through consumer driving use, to its ultimate end in the recycling process. Volvo used EPS in the design and manufacturing of its new S40 sedan and V40 wagon, as well as the highly acclaimed S80 sedan. Environmental stewardship continues to be a primary objective at Volvo. Looking ahead just five short years from now, Volvo's goal is to decrease fuel consumption by 25% (measured from 1990 levels) in all vehicles it produces. Volvo supports environmental education with its extensive online curriculum at http://www.environment.volvocars.com , and through its partnership with Columbia University. Each year, Volvo provides scholarships for 10 students each semester to attend Columbia University Earth Institute's western campus at the Biosphere 2 Center in Arizona. The Volvo Prize, initiated in 1990, supports environmental research by awarding an annual cash prize to one or more people who make a unique contribution to the understanding or protection of the environment. The 1999 Volvo Prize, along with approximately $175,000, was awarded to plant breeder and administrator Dr. M.S. Swaminathan for his achievements that led to dramatic increases in crop yields, as well as his international leadership in agriculture and resource conservation. For more details on Volvo's activities, visit the Volvo Web site at http://www.volvocars.com . Additional information on the ISO 14000 program can be referenced at the International Organization for Standardization Web site at http://www.iso.ch .