Volvo trucks named first U.S. Manufacturer to achieve dual energy certifications


Volvo Trucks’ New River Valley (NRV) assembly plant is the first U.S. manufacturing facility to achieve two top energy certifications.

New River Valley is the largest Volvo Trucks manufacturing plant in the world, and has been certified by the ISO 50001 standard and the Superior Energy Performance (SEP). ISO 50001 and SEP are, respectively, the top international standard and top U.S. certification program for driving continuous improvements in energy efficiency.

New River Valley assembly plant

“SEP and ISO 50001 certifications are an honour and a direct reflection of the environmental commitment of our entire organisation,” said Lars Blomberg, Volvo Trucks vice president and general manager of the NRV assembly plant. “These certifications required a high degree of co-operation – a total plant effort. Employees at all levels have been actively engaged throughout our entire energy reduction journey.”

New River Valley is certified to ISO 50001 in the U.S. under the pilot American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-ASQ National Accreditation Board (ANAB) accreditation, as the first-ever U.S. manufacturer.

New River Valley assembly plant aerial

It is also the first facility SEP-certified to use ISO 50001 under a new pilot ANSI-ANAB accreditation. NRV was SEP certified at a platinum level – the highest available – for improving energy performance by more than 15 per cent during the three-year period after establishing an energy baseline.

These certifications will help the NRV plant further reduce its energy intensity to ultimately become carbon neutral. Established by the U.S. Department of Energy, the new SEP certification program provides a pathway for continuous energy efficiency improvements. The program is a transparent, nationally accepted system for verifying improvements in energy performance and management.

Achieving the ISO 50001 and SEP standards mark the latest milestones on NRV’s path to carbon neutrality.

The certifications come less than a year after NRV became the first of 32 major companies participating in DOE’s Better Buildings/Better Plants program (formerly the Save Energy Now LEADER Program) to fulfill its 10-year pledge to reduce the intensity of energy per unit by 25 per cent. Volvo met the program’s target in one year instead of ten. While technologies like building automation systems, solar hot water heaters and infra-red heaters helped drive NRV’s energy reductions, many of the energy-saving ideas have come from employees.

“Congratulations to all the NRV employees for their many contributions to help achieve these leading-edge energy certifications,” said Ron Huibers, president, Volvo Trucks North American Sales & Marketing. “The lean, energy-focused culture and total commitment to NRV’s carbon-neutral initiative is evident through the achievement of these two national certifications.”

“The tremendous energy reduction efforts at NRV have really resonated with our customers visiting the plant as well. They know their Volvo trucks are fuel-efficient and they can see how that care for the environment is intertwined throughout the Volvo culture and manufacturing process,” Huibers continued.