All of Volvo’s future electric vehicles will have leather-free interiors, the automaker promises.
It says it will be making “an ethical stand for animal welfare” as part of a wider strategy promoting the use of sustainable materials in its products. The move will start with the new C40 Recharge, and all new Volvo BEVs to follow will use no leather.
Part of this plan sees the automaker working to find high-quality and sustainable sources for many materials currently used across the auto industry. By 2025, Volvo is aiming for 25% of the material in its new cars to consist of recycled and bio-based content. It also aims to ensure all its main suppliers, including material suppliers, will use 100% renewable energy by 2025.
Volvo says its move toward leather-free interiors is also driven by concern about the negative environmental impacts of cattle farming, including deforestation. Livestock is estimated to be responsible for about 14% of global greenhouse gas emissions related to human activity, with the majority coming from cattle farming.
Instead of leather interior options, Volvo will use sustainable alternatives such as Nordico, a material it created consisting of textiles made from recycled material such as plastic bottles, bio-attributed material from sustainable forests in Sweden and Finland, and corks recycled from the wine industry.
Volvo will continue to offer wool blend options from suppliers that are certified to source responsibly as it looks to ensure full traceability and animal welfare in its wool supply chain. It is also looking to reduce the use of residual products from livestock production commonly used within or in the production of plastics, rubber, lubricants and adhesives, either as part of the material or as a process chemical in the material’s production or treatment.
Stuart Templar, director of global sustainability at Volvo Cars, says: “Being a progressive carmaker means we need to address all areas of sustainability, not just CO2 emissions. Responsible sourcing is an important part of that work, including respect for animal welfare. Going leather-free inside our pure electric cars is a good next step towards addressing this issue.”