The Volvo Group’s vision is to become world leader in sustainable transport solutions. I believe a company integrating CSR and sustainability into their business model is better prepared to meet future challenges, stakeholder’s expectations and create long-term value.
Working with CSR and sustainability is very interesting. It can sometimes be hard to explain in a few words what CSR exactly is since it covers a wide range of issues such as business ethics, labour rights and respect for human rights, environmental issues – only to mention some topics we as a company need to manage in order to be perceived as a responsible and trustworthy company.
CSR has by many been considered a moral obligation instead of a business opportunity. In terms of added business value focus has primarily been on CSR as an effective risk management tool. Even though managing risks is an important component of CSR I believe this is a narrow way of looking at CSR because it doesn’t explain the business potential or how CSR actually adds value to the Volvo Group. I’m convinced CSR is much more than a risk management tool. In fact, CSR entails great potential to both make and save money.
We have a long and proud history of developing pioneering products and services for the transport and infrastructure industries. As one of the world’s biggest manufacturers of heavy commercial vehicles, we have always considered that we bear a responsibility for reducing the environmental impact of our products. We have always strived that our operations and products should have the least possible negative environmental impact. But it also makes economically sense to use available resources in the most efficient way.
We have seen an increased interest and demand for environmentally enhanced products. The demand for more sustainable products is a business opportunity for the Volvo Group. We have the skills and resources to develop new products that enable our customers to choose more sustainable products and services. The increased demand for this type of products also represents an opportunity to expand our core product and service offering, e.g. by providing services to ensure the products are used in the most environmental efficient and safest way by offering e.g. driver training, traffic safety trainings, expertise on running a transport business etc. The list can be made long. Key to success lies in using our unique assets and focusing on solving challenges within our area of expertise – transport.
Last week an article called “Volvo’s CSR expert speaks up” was published here at Global News. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all. I’m overwhelmed by the number of positive emails I received from colleagues and other stakeholders from all around the world. Your comments have strengthen my conviction that CSR is not only about managing risks but rather an approach enabling us to contribute to a positive development – and making the Volvo Group a company we can all be proud to work for. Malin Ripa, director Volvo Group Public Affairs