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All new fully electric Volvo models to be completely leather-free

Volvo is to go completely leather-free in all its pure electric cars, starting with the new C40 Recharge.

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The move is based on both an ethical stand for animal welfare and a concern about the negative environmental impacts of cattle farming, including deforestation. Livestock is estimated to be responsible for around 14% of global greenhouse gas emissions from human activity, with the majority coming from cattle farming.

Instead of leather interior options, Volvo – which is aiming to only offer fully electric cars from 2030 – will offer sustainable materials, made from bio-based and recycled sources and developed to be high-quality.

These include Nordico; a new interior material, created inhouse and using textiles made from recycled material such as PET bottles, bio-attributed material from sustainable forests in Sweden and Finland, and recycled corks from the wine industry.

Volvo will also continue to offer wool blend options from suppliers certified to source responsibly, helping to ensure full traceability and animal welfare in its wool supply chain.

The plan by 2025 is for 25% of the material in new Volvo cars to consist of recycled and bio-based content, as it looks to become a fully circular business by 2040.

Volvo is also asking all immediate suppliers, including material suppliers, to use 100% renewable energy by 2025.

“Being a progressive car maker means we need to address all areas of sustainability, not just CO2 emissions,” said Stuart Templar, director of global sustainability at Volvo Cars. “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.”

To reinforce this, the carmaker is also looking to reduce the use of anything that’s a by-product of the livestock industry, whether part of the material itself or a process chemical in its production, such as in plastics, rubber, lubricants and adhesives.

“Finding products and materials that support animal welfare will be challenging, but that is no reason to avoid this important issue,” said Stuart Templar. “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.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day.

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