Creating shared value

“CSR allows us to contribute to sustainable development within our sphere of expertise and influence”, says Jan-Eric Sundgren, Executive Vice President Environmental and Public Affairs.

"Our world faces urgent global challenges, such as climate change, depletion of natural resources and uneven distribution of wealth. The complexity, size and scale of these challenges require cooperation among states, regions and different sectors of society. CSR offers a set of values on which to build a more cohesive society and take an active part in the transition to a more sustainable society. International business, including Volvo Group, has an important role to play in addressing these challenges.

Not only mitigating risk but going forward

A strategic approach towards CSR is increasingly important. Not only because it is expected from a large company like the Volvo Group but also for our future competitiveness. CSR strengthens our brand, enables access to new markets and supports good stakeholder relationships.

CSR also increases our attractiveness as an employer; for present and future employees. For young people today it is crucial that companies take on not only business but also societal challenges and find solutions.

The CSR strategy will help us walk the talk

The Volvo Group has a new vision, wanted position and organization. Together with trends and global challenges, there was also a growing internal demand for a coherent and well defined CSR strategy. In 2011, we therefore started the work to develop a new CSR strategy for the Volvo Group.

The aim has been to base the CSR strategy on our business model, operating context and ambitions. We believe this approach is important to ensure that CSR goes beyond a risk management tool and really adds value to the business and contributes to our future business success.

Guiding day to day work

Since 2011, we have worked on developing a set of policies, directives and tools. For a large company such as ours it is necessary to formalize expectations and our own commitment in written documents in order to ensure a coherent approach and implementation. Once completed, we will start focusing on implementing the requirements into our processes.

Creating win-win situations

With our new CSR strategy we are moving from the more traditionally CSR perspectives to the concept of 'creating shared value'. In essence, shared value is about creating win-win situations for society, Volvo Group or other stakeholders.

Let me take one example; more than 50% of the global population lives in cities. Cities place specific requirements on efficient transport of goods and people. By applying our knowledge, skills and experience and interacting with city authorities we can shape the transportation systems of tomorrow. This cooperation will benefit the cities, the people living there as well as our business.

CSR in a global context

The concept of CSR differs in different parts of the world. Being a global company with presence on approximately 190 markets requires us to have a common base of values to ensure the same standard of behavior wherever we operate.

Our Code of Conduct is the backbone of our CSR commitment and guides our behavior in order to build and maintain our reputation as a responsible company. I believe a responsible company is more likely to be a trusted partner which is essential for our long-term success.

In essence, being a trusted company is about taking responsibility for what we produce, how we produce it and how we act.

We are one part of a long and complex value chain. Our customers and investors place requirements on us, just like we do on our suppliers. Today, trustworthiness is more important than ever.

By being a responsible business partner, we build long-term trust with employees, customers and other prioritized stakeholders. This will lead to an environment where the Volvo Group can grow its business and contribute to further societal development. 

The Volvo Group's vision is to become the world leader in sustainable transport solutions. Our CSR strategy will help us reach that vision."

Jan-Eric Sundgren, Executive Vice President Environmental and Public Affairs