Volvo Cars takes an ethical stand by eliminating leather from its EVs
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Gothenburg, Sweden - Leather is something that’s always been associated with luxury cars, but Volvo Cars is aiming to change the status quo by gradually eliminating leather from its cars between now and 2030.
The Swedish carmaker says it is taking an ethical stand for animal welfare, with the announcement that all new fully electric Volvo models that are launched from now on will be totally leather-free. Of course, this means that eventually all Volvo cars will be leather-free, given that the carmaker is planning to go electric only by the end of this decade.
Volvo says its move towards leather-free cabins is also motivated by concerns about the environmental impacts of cattle farming, including deforestation. Livestock is estimated to be responsible for around 14% of global greenhouse gas emissions from human activity.
However, customers won’t simply have to make do with simple cloth upholstery. Instead, Volvo plans to offer high-quality leather alternatives made from bio-based and recycled sources. An example of this is Nordico, which consists of textiles made from recycled material such as PET bottles.
Volvo says it is working actively to find sustainable and high-quality sources for materials currently used. By 2025, it is aiming for 25 percent of the material used in new Volvo cars to consist of recycled and bio-based content. This forms part of the company’s ambition to become a “fully circular” business by 2040.
“Being a progressive car maker means we need to address all areas of sustainability, not just CO2 emissions,” said Volvo Cars sustainability director Stuart Templar. “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.”
“Finding products and materials that support animal welfare will be challenging, but that is no reason to avoid this important issue,” Templar added. “This is a journey worth taking. Having a truly progressive and sustainable mindset means we need to ask ourselves difficult questions and actively try to find answers.”