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Volvo Cars collaborates with startups through MobilityXlab to promote a circular economy

Friday, August 14, 2020
Volvo Cars has been working with sustainability for many years and a couple of years ago the company decided to take serious leaps towards promoting a circular economy. Karin André works with circular economy within global sustainability at Volvo Cars and she lets us in on Volvo Cars’ plans for the future and their engagement in MobilityXlab.

-       We have to find new ways of using and valuing resources. The most obvious reason being that we cannot drain the earth from its resources, but it’s about business as well. Circular economy is a way to save materials and uphold their value. It’s a transformative way to look at  business and production processes, says Karin André.

Aiming high in climate issues

Volvo Cars has not been unambitious when it comes to their climate plan. By 2025 the company aims to have reduced CO2 emissions by 40% per car. And by 2040 the goal is to be completely climate neutral.

-       We have a new strategy which is split in three parts; climate actions, circular economy and ethical and responsible leadership. It takes form in different ways. But as far as circularity goes we will use as little primary raw materials as possible and instead reuse materials as much as we possibly can. We are learning more and more along the way and this isn’t just something we need to do but the entire world has to.

“Working circularly means new and higher demands, that’s where collaboration comes in”

Redefining your business models and committing to creating a sustainable industry doesn’t come that easy. Especially in an industry developing at an extreme pace and with routines and demands which simply cannot be ignored or compromised with.

-       Working circularly means new and higher demands, that’s where collaboration comes in. We will never be able to do it without collaboration. As in every other field, it’s important that we have access to new technology and find new ways of working and reaching our goals. In many segments and areas, large corporations and startups can complement each other.

What does MobilityXlab bring to the table? 

The need for collaboration between startups and large corporations is spreading around the world. People are realizing what this way of working can actually help you achieve but it comes with its challenges. We are now facing how to refine the process of collaboration itself.

-       Working for a huge global company there are many things you have to consider. There is always a tug of war between potential great success and low risk. We understood the value of working with startups a long time ago but it’s hard to actualize. Working through MobilityXlab gives us advantages such as connection and clarity on how we and the startups actually fit together. And we have learnt a lot so far, which we could not have done without taking part in platforms like MobilityXlab.

This year MobilityXlab launches the Future Mobility Awards to recognize startups all over the world who bring the best innovations to the industry. The Future Mobility Awards are divided into 4 different categories and sustainability is one of them.

All startups who are working towards a more sustainable future within the mobility industry and building sustainable businesses are welcome to apply for the Future Mobility Award. Application closes August 21.

Do you want to know more about MobilityXlab and the collaborations we facilitate? Sign up for our newsletter or check us out on LinkedIn!

Karin André, Circular Economy within Global Sustainability at Volvo Cars