Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Solar Job Market Looks Promising in 2014

Solar Job Market Looks Promising in 2014
At a time when the U.S. economy has been sluggish at best and job growth has been stagnant in many parts of the country, the ongoing growth and success of the solar industry is remarkable. In its National Solar Job Census 2013, The Solar Foundation takes an in-depth look at the industry, and it is a rosy picture indeed. For a variety of factors, there is more demand for solar technology than ever, and this demand is driving phenomenal growth in all segments of the industry.
About the National Solar Job Census 2013
For the fourth year in a row, The Solar Foundation has analyzed the state of the U.S. solar industry through the use of an extensive census. As with previous censuses, the National Solar Job Census 2013 is the result of data that has been gathered from more than 15,000 employers spanning many industries, sizes and scopes. This report is the definitive guide to the current status of the solar industry and the leading source of information regarding its immediate future.
Significant Employment Growth Seen in Maturing Industry
After a somewhat bumpy start, the solar industry in the U.S. appears to be coming into its own. As revealed by the census, it has been experiencing steady and remarkable job growth over the last four years. The proof is in the data. A few highlights include:
  • Employment in the industry has grown by 53 percent since 2010, which represents the addition of approximately 50,000 jobs.
  • Since Census 2012, the U.S. solar industry has grown by about 20 percent, which represents a growth rate more than 10 times faster than that of the overall U.S. economy.
  • In 2012, there were 119,016 workers in the solar industry; in 2013, that number had ballooned to 142,698.

Hiring and Job Creation are Up
The pace of hiring in the U.S. solar industry has been impressive for some time. In the last year, it's actually increased at a rate about 50 percent higher than the year prior. Does this mean the pace will continue to increase? That remains unclear, but it is on an upward trajectory.
If the increasing pace of job creation in the solar industry doesn't impress you, consider these points:
  • One in every 142 new jobs in the U.S. is in the solar industry.
  • 77 percent of the 24,000 new solar workers have filled new jobs, which means that 18,211 new jobs have been created in the industry since September 2012.
  • 56 new solar jobs are created every day in the United States.

Indirect and Induced Jobs Impressive Too
It's a remarkable fact that there are more than 142,000 jobs in the solar industry as of the fall of 2013. What's even better is that the industry supports hundreds of thousands of additional induced and indirect jobs. According to the census, they account for an approximate total of 435,000 additional jobs in the U.S., which brings the total number of jobs that exist thanks to the solar industry to nearly 600,000. These jobs are found in all states and span a variety of different segments.
Living Wages and More
It would be one thing if all of these new jobs were low-paying positions. However, that's not the case. According to the census, two-thirds of new hires in the industry work installation jobs that pay living wages. The average hourly rate for such employees ($23.63) is far higher than the national minimum wage.
The solar industry is also relatively diverse. One in every six employees in the industry is Latino or Hispanic. About 19 percent of all solar industry workers are female, which makes women better represented in this industry than in the construction industry, of which only 12 percent of workers are female. Veterans make up nearly 10 percent of all workers in the industry.
Installation Segment is Especially Noteworthy
By far, the installation segment is the largest in the U.S. solar industry. As noted in the report, it accounts for 69,658 jobs. In the last year alone, the installation segment added 12,500 jobs and is expected to swell to 84,331 jobs in the next year. Installation jobs in the industry can't be offshored, so they should continue to provide employment opportunities and living wages for workers for the foreseeable future.
The Secrets Behind the Solar Industry's Success
Why is the U.S. solar industry succeeding so wildly while so many other industries in the U.S. continue to struggle? The main impetus of the industry's incredible growth lies in the falling costs of solar equipment and installations. Special government policies have helped improve the popularity of solar power, which also has helped the industry grow. Solar power is also becoming more popular because it is more affordable. Ironically, the industry’s ongoing growth could be partly attributable to the poor overall economy and people's desire to spend less.
More Growth is Expected
Leading market analysts predict that the U.S. solar industry will continue to grow well into the future. With 45 percent of solar companies planning to add jobs in the next year and less than 1.9 percent planning to eliminate jobs, there is expected to be a 15.6-percent growth in employment in the next year. Compared with the projected growth of the overall economy, which is an abysmal 1.4 percent, it's easy to see why so many people are so excited about solar. 

Ryan McNeill is the president of Renewable Energy Corporation, one of the Mid-Atlantic’s largest residential solar energy companies – committed to installing quality, American-made solar panels and energy products for homeowners. 

Friday, February 21, 2014

Offshore wind farm projects are facing problems from bombs which have not exploded from World War II, Birds or sharks. This is raising cost of the technology.

Offshore wind farm projects are facing problems from bombs which have not exploded from World War II, Birds or sharks. This is raising cost of the technology.

Globally Harmonized System (GHS) is published into the CFR and is affecting companies large and small. While driven by health and safety interests, the GHS can have a profound impact on environmental initiatives and EH&S professionals


Download GHS Success Kit Now!
Do you know how GHS impacts your organization and the changes that need to take place to be GHS compliant? How do you stay up-to-date on the most current GHS information?
The Globally Harmonized System (GHS) is published into the CFR and is affecting companies large and small. While driven by health and safety interests, the GHS can have a profound impact on environmental initiatives and EH&S professionals. Potential areas of impact include:
• Greater disclosure of ingredient/material information for SARA, TRI, VOC, and HAPS reporting, as examples
• Millions of safety data sheet updates affecting chemical classifications, reporting deadlines and more
• Increased analysis of environmental regulatory impacts per continuous improvement programs such as ISO 14001
Get the educational GHS Success Kit Now!
Webinar: "Just the Facts About GHS"
Webinar: "GHS Readiness Webinar"
Webinar: "5 Tips to Author a GHS Safety Data Sheet"
• The Top 5 Key Elements for Transitioning to GHS
• The GHS Transitioning Guide
• OSHA HazCom 2012 Final Ruling 


Shared with Sustain2Green by Enviance

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

GreenChill Webinar: The Green Globes Rating System - Assessing Supermarke​t Environmen​tal Performanc​e

GreenChill Webinar: The Green Globes ...
WhenTue Mar 4, 2014 7pm – 8pm (UTC)
WhereWebinar
WhoEPA-GreenC​hill*
Agenda
Tue Mar 4, 2014
No earlier events
7pmGreenChill Webinar: The Green Globes ...
No later events

Topic: The Green Globes Rating System - Assessing Supermarket Environmental Performance
Date: Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Time: 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm (Eastern time)

Description:

Please join us on Tuesday March 4 at 2pm EST for a GreenChill webinar on the Green Globes rating system. Green Globes is a green building guidance and assessment program that offers an effective, practical, and affordable way to advance the overall environmental performance and sustainability of commercial buildings. The webinar will include information on how supermarkets have successfully applied the Green Globes rating system.

A case study describing how Whole Foods, a GreenChill partner, has applied the Green Globes rating system is available here: http://www.thegbi.org/assets/case_study/Green-Globes-whole-foods.pdf

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To join the webinar:
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2. Select "Enter as a Guest". It is important that you select the option to enter as a guest.
3. Enter your name.
4. Click "Enter Room".
5. Click "OK".

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For audio
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1. Call the toll free call-in number: 1-866-299-3188
2. Use Conference Code: 202 343 9185#

Shared with Sustian2Green by GreenChill

China has invested about $4.3 billion on energy efficiency initiatives which is more than what U.S. has invested in such initiatives. Globally about $14.9 billion was spent on energy efficiency initiatives.

China has invested about $4.3 billion on energy efficiency initiatives which is more than what U.S. has invested in such initiatives. Globally about $14.9 billion was spent on energy efficiency initiatives.   

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

American Anti-Climax

American Anti-Climax

smart - car2go 2009
My hybrid car, Toyota Prius, for last seven years is emitting nearly 50% less CO2 than average non-hybrid car. If all the cars and light vehicle achieve such reduction, it is calculated that whole of transport sector would contribute to total of 12 percent reduction of emission. Had it happened by 2012, transport sector alone would have ben able to meet Kyoto Protocol target for the developed countries i.e. 5 % reduction in their total CO2 emission as compared to 1990 emission level.
Considering that technology exists and is proven, I keep wondering why there are no strict global regulations that progressively achieve the emission-standards for the vehicles to the levels of hybrid vehicles.
CAFÉ (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) standards related to fuel   efficiency in transport sector of United States of America (USA) have now forged forward to do exactly that. Last year, Obama administration set these new standards –CAFÉ regulations-stipulating the average CO2 emissions for cars and light vehicles made in 2025 onwards to be half of that produced in 2010.  Auto manufacturers can achieve this either by improving fuel efficiency of engines or using less carbon intensive fuels.
These new economy rules could more than halve vehicle fuel consumption as compared to 2010 level. Coming from the nation that is described by their own past President as ‘nation addicted to gas i.e. petrol and diesel’ and whose foreign and economic policies are described by the critics to be ‘ as fluid as oil imported from exporting countries’, is now moving towards-take a breathe- total energy independence!  The very thought that notorious gas guzzlers’ nation that imports nearly 60% of its oil will soon reduce its requirement by half is utterly shocking. But it is happening. I call it American Anti-climax, normally seen at the end of the Western Cow Boy Texan movies.
Indeed, ‘new oil’ i.e. shale gas (called ‘fracking gas’) that is being extracted in huge quantities in USA has been the game changer in shifting from America’s fuel-deficit status to fuel sufficient or even fuel exporter status. But very few realize that half of the credit for this anti-climax goes to fuel efficiency and energy efficiency measures set by USA for the passenger cars. This situation is difficult to digest for many, considering that finger of global criticism for the cause of climate change is always pointed at USA.  But the nation that is mostly blamed for creating the problem in the first place has now not only found the solution to that problem, but it is set to help the world. At least it has begun that process. Europe and Japan are likely to follow soon.
Worldwide transport sector contributes up to 30 percent of all man-made emissions. Improving fuel efficiency of the engines is just one of the ways to reduce CO2 emissions and save money for the car owner. But it is not the only ‘driving’ factor for the environmental and economic solution.
Balanced-mind and non-aggressive driving can save more than 10 percent fuel, correct and optimum tire pressure can save 5%, optimum use of air-conditioning in car can save another 5 %. Road conditions, regular tuning of the engines, better tire quality are some of the other factors that can save further fuel and money.
There are critics who are worried that saving money for car owners will make owners to drive more and buy more cars thereby nullifying the benefits for environment. The past experiences in improving efficiency however do not support such ‘rebound’ effect.
At present people in India and China are  ‘bound’ by the addiction of the better-looking car, fast-cooling car ACs, and quick and aggressive accelerating speeds by dodging pot-holes dotted on the roads. Fuel efficiency policies are left far behind that of USA in this drive, even though the big cities are getting affected by the pollution-laden fog which disrupts the normal life in cities like Beijing and New Delhi.
It is time to press accelerator for speeding towards super fuel-efficient vehicles and fill in the potholes of administrative delay. There will be win-win-win situation. Benefit to economy for consumers and for the country, protecting environment-not only climate change but also air-pollution, and improving energy security.   END
By Rajendra Shende, Chairman TERRE, former Director UNEP.
Shared with Sustain2Green by Rajendra Shende.

Hedge funds and private equity like D.E. Shaw & KKR& Co. have got their focus back on renewable energy projects. They are buying stakes in solar projects.

Hedge funds and private equity like D.E. Shaw & KKR& Co.  have got their focus back on renewable energy projects. They are buying stakes in solar projects.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Trelleborg’s syntactic foam does the job for Ocean explorer


Ocean explorer

Scott Cassell and his Great White submersible are going to great depths to stop ocean devastation.

Scott Cassell, undersea explorer, CEO and founder of the Undersea Voyager Project, spends most of his workday underwater. He stopped logging his underwater time when he reached 13,000 hours in 2007. “Frankly, I feel I am just getting started and cannot spend enough time underwater,” he says.
Cassell has dedicated his life to saving the ocean, working with scientists and researchers in an often-lonely battle to protect the sea. “If the seas fail, all of humankind goes extinct,” he warns. “Thousands of scientists around the world are screaming warning signs, and few care enough to listen to them.” 
There’s urgency to his mission, which is being addressed through the Undersea Voyager Project. The nonprofit project stems from a lifetime fascination with the sea. “Underwater, I have seen how spectacular life really is, and it’s worth saving just for the splendorous beauty it holds – much less the actual life-support system it harbors for our species,” he says.
Cassell spends much of his time in the Great White, a submersible that he recently rebuilt and outfitted with Trelleborg’s syntactic foam. This foam, the industry leader in strength-to-weight ratio, is designed to withstand depths of up to 11,000 feet under tremendous pressure. Since it weighs less than other foam, it can also carry a bigger payload, a real advantage in cramped quarters.

“Trelleborg’s syntactic foam is the holy grail for subsea applications because it is strong yet light,” says Bob Kelly, Vice President of Trelleborg Offshore & Construction in Boston, U.S. “It provides buoyancy at great depths and has very low water uptake, so it’s long-lasting as well.” Trelleborg’s foam typically lasts more than 20 years in sea environments. 
Cassell welcomed the support Trelleborg gave him regarding the Great White, which has a depth limit of 500 fsw (feet of salt water). “I received engineering and kind guidance from Trelleborg,” he says. “I was educated on what the best foam was for our application and how much we would need.” 
Cassell explains that a real benefit with Trelleborg’s syntactic foam is its machinability, shock resistance and strength-to-weight ratio. “We are a small operation, using a small submersible doing a huge job, often on TV,” he says. “Reliability and durability are paramount.”
The energetic explorer and his Great White are rarely stationary. This year alone his project will be going to Asia, the U.S. (the coast of California and Lake Tahoe), Britain’s Channel Islands and the Mexican Yucatan, to perform studies.
Cassell has a long list of memorable sea moments, from riding on the back of a 3,500-pound great white shark off Guadeloupe Island, seeing hundreds of man-sized Humboldt squid and being pushed out of the water by the nose of a gray whale to being surrounded by dolphins, sardines, bronze whaler sharks and 20 gannets while a Bryde’s whale lunge-fed just a few feet away from him.
“Holding a baby octopus no larger than a pea in the palm of my hand as she walked around looking for food between my fingers was pretty memorable too,” he adds. “Sometimes the greatest gifts are the smallest.”
There have been plenty of dangers too, including facing angry poachers and having near-fatal mechanical problems at sea, but he brushes those away, pointing to the daily risks that many people face just getting into their cars. 
The Undersea Voyager Project moves on, and Trelleborg is happy to contribute to it, says Bob Kelly. “We believe in what they are doing and support projects to preserve the environment,” he says. “Personally, I like the way Scott works with the scientific community and how they will be sharing the information to make the world a better place.” 

Trelleborg’s syntactic foam
Trelleborg provides buoyancy and insulation solutions primarily for the offshore oil and gas, marine and offshore fabrication markets. It is the supplier of choice for foam buoyancy systems suitable for subsea operations up to full ocean depth. 
In addition to providing material for the Undersea Voyager Project, Trelleborg’s syntactic foam has been used in other scientific ocean projects, such as the Alvin submersible, used to explore the wreck of the Titanic. 
“They don’t build tons of these vehicles, but when they do, they come to us for the performance of the syntactic foam in submersible applications,” says Trelleborg’s Bob Kelly, pointing out syntactic foam’s safety features. “We’re talking about people’s lives, and you can’t put a price on that.”

Great White submersible
Operating depth: 500 feet
Weight: 3,000 pounds
Length: 14’ 2”
The Great White submersible is “a highly upgraded” Kittredge K-250 personal submarine. “The only thing left from the original design is the pressure hull,” says underwater explorer Scott Cassell. The Great White’s mission is to perform oceanic exploration and research by private citizens and teenagers while being overseen by scientists. All findings from this nonprofit organization are made public. “We love our Youth Ambassador Program in which we select 16 kids each year to learn how to become a submersible pilot,” says Cassell. 
The teens go through intensive training before putting on the orange flight suit of a sub pilot. Afterward, they must give three talks a year to other young people about their experiences. “In my humble opinion, this mission makes the sub a very magical machine,” Cassell says.

For more information 
please contact news@trelleborg.com 

Shared with Sustain2Green by email.

Prius hybrid was the bestselling vehicle in California for the second year in 2013. Model S from Tesla was placed third among the luxury cars.

Prius hybrid was the bestselling vehicle in California for the second year in 2013. Model S from Tesla was placed third among the luxury cars. 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Volvo Trucks boosts safety on slippery winter roads


Volvo Trucks boosts safety on slippery winter roads

For trucks with trailers, slippery winter roads and downhill gradients represent a tough challenge for even the most skilled of drivers. There is always the risk of the rig becoming unstable and, in the worst-case scenario, starting to jack-knife. Volvo Trucks has now developed a solution that significantly improves safety.

“Even if the truck driver ultimately manages to control the situation, it can be extremely unpleasant both for oncoming road users and the truck driver, if a rig suddenly veers off its intended course on a downhill gradient,” says Mats Sabelström, brake specialist for the Volvo Trucks brand.

In order to minimise the risk of this type of situation and potential accidents, Volvo Trucks has developed a system known as Stretch Brake that automatically retards the trailer and straightens up the rig on slippery downhill stretches. 
“About 15 percent of the total of 30,000 serious road accidents in Europe every year involve trucks, in a slightly declining trend1. With effective brakes, stability systems and collision warning systems we are already helping drivers avoid risky situations in difficult conditions. Stretch Brake is yet another important part of our long-term drive to increase traffic safety and minimise the number of accidents involving trucks,” says Carl Johan Almqvist, Traffic and Product Safety Director for the Volvo Trucks brand.

Stretch Brake is a complement to the rig’s electronic stability program (ESP) – yet another system that Volvo Trucks was the first truck maker in the world to introduce. While ESP is at its most effective at higher speeds, Stretch Brake is only operational at speeds below 40 km/h. Both systems contribute to better stability and easier steering. 
“One might call Stretch Brake a kind of low-speed ESP. As the rig approaches a downhill slope, the driver manually activates the system. When the driver then releases the accelerator, the brakes on the trailer are automatically applied in a pulsated mode all the way down the hill until the gradient levels out and speed can once again be increased,” relates Mats Sabelström.

Stretch Brake was introduced in 2012 on Volvo FH trucks pulling drawbar trailers and in 2013 on Volvo FM trucks pulling drawbar trailers. In 2014 it will also become available for Volvo FH and FM semi-trailer rigs.
“Drivers who have tested Stretch Brake came away very impressed with the system. As we now also introduce the system on tractor-semitrailer rigs even more drivers will be able to negotiate difficult downhill gradients both more simply and safely,” says Carl Johan Almqvist. 

According to the Volvo Trucks Accident Research Team, which specialises in studying traffic safety, about 60 or so of the truck accidents that occurred in Sweden alone last year could have been avoided with Stretch Brake2. 

Stretch Brake Facts
• Increases safety on downhill gradients, especially on slippery roads and in curves.
• Applies the drawbar brakes in a pulsating mode.
• Straightens the rig, makes steering easier and reduces the risk of jack-knifing.
• Operational at speeds below 40 km/h.
• Introduced in 2012 on Volvo FH trucks and in 2013 on Volvo FM trucks. In 2014 it will also become available on tractor/semi-trailer rigs.

[529 words]

See Youtube-film about the Stretch Brake:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNwJ7Acs_3Y

1 Source: CARE 2011, CARE is the European centralized database on road accidents which result in death or injury across the EU.
2 Source: STRADA 2012, STRADA is a national (Swedish) information system collecting data of injuries and accidents in the entire road transport system. STRADA is based on information from the police as well as the hospitals. 
For further information, please contact: 
Ida Mattsson, Volvo Trucks Media Relations, Phone: +46 31 323 63 42, e-mail: ida.mattsson@volvo.com

For broadcast-quality videos supporting this press release and more, please visit http://www.thenewsmarket.com/volvotrucks
Press images and films are available in the Volvo Trucks image and film gallery at http://images.volvotrucks.com

Volvo Trucks provides complete transport solutions for professional and demanding customers, offering a full range of medium to heavy duty trucks. Customer support is secured via a global network of 2,300 dealers and workshops in more than 140 countries. Volvo trucks are assembled in 16 countries across the globe. In 2012 more than 105,000 Volvo trucks were delivered worldwide. Volvo Trucks is part of the Volvo Group, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of trucks, buses and construction equipment, and drive systems for marine and industrial applications. The Group also provides solutions for financing and service. Volvo’s work is based on the core values quality, safety and environmental care.Volvo Trucks boosts safety on slippery winter roads


For trucks with trailers, slippery winter roads and downhill gradients represent a tough challenge for even the most skilled of drivers. There is always the risk of the rig becoming unstable and, in the worst-case scenario, starting to jack-knife. Volvo Trucks has now developed a solution that significantly improves safety.

“Even if the truck driver ultimately manages to control the situation, it can be extremely unpleasant both for oncoming road users and the truck driver, if a rig suddenly veers off its intended course on a downhill gradient,” says Mats Sabelström, brake specialist for the Volvo Trucks brand.

In order to minimise the risk of this type of situation and potential accidents, Volvo Trucks has developed a system known as Stretch Brake that automatically retards the trailer and straightens up the rig on slippery downhill stretches. 
“About 15 percent of the total of 30,000 serious road accidents in Europe every year involve trucks, in a slightly declining trend1. With effective brakes, stability systems and collision warning systems we are already helping drivers avoid risky situations in difficult conditions. Stretch Brake is yet another important part of our long-term drive to increase traffic safety and minimise the number of accidents involving trucks,” says Carl Johan Almqvist, Traffic and Product Safety Director for the Volvo Trucks brand.

Stretch Brake is a complement to the rig’s electronic stability program (ESP) – yet another system that Volvo Trucks was the first truck maker in the world to introduce. While ESP is at its most effective at higher speeds, Stretch Brake is only operational at speeds below 40 km/h. Both systems contribute to better stability and easier steering. 
“One might call Stretch Brake a kind of low-speed ESP. As the rig approaches a downhill slope, the driver manually activates the system. When the driver then releases the accelerator, the brakes on the trailer are automatically applied in a pulsated mode all the way down the hill until the gradient levels out and speed can once again be increased,” relates Mats Sabelström.

Stretch Brake was introduced in 2012 on Volvo FH trucks pulling drawbar trailers and in 2013 on Volvo FM trucks pulling drawbar trailers. In 2014 it will also become available for Volvo FH and FM semi-trailer rigs.
“Drivers who have tested Stretch Brake came away very impressed with the system. As we now also introduce the system on tractor-semitrailer rigs even more drivers will be able to negotiate difficult downhill gradients both more simply and safely,” says Carl Johan Almqvist. 

According to the Volvo Trucks Accident Research Team, which specialises in studying traffic safety, about 60 or so of the truck accidents that occurred in Sweden alone last year could have been avoided with Stretch Brake2. 

Stretch Brake Facts
• Increases safety on downhill gradients, especially on slippery roads and in curves.
• Applies the drawbar brakes in a pulsating mode.
• Straightens the rig, makes steering easier and reduces the risk of jack-knifing.
• Operational at speeds below 40 km/h.
• Introduced in 2012 on Volvo FH trucks and in 2013 on Volvo FM trucks. In 2014 it will also become available on tractor/semi-trailer rigs.

See Youtube-film about the Stretch Brake:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNwJ7Acs_3Y

1 Source: CARE 2011, CARE is the European centralized database on road accidents which result in death or injury across the EU.
2 Source: STRADA 2012, STRADA is a national (Swedish) information system collecting data of injuries and accidents in the entire road transport system. STRADA is based on information from the police as well as the hospitals. 
For further information, please contact: 
Ida Mattsson, Volvo Trucks Media Relations, Phone: +46 31 323 63 42, e-mail: ida.mattsson@volvo.com

For broadcast-quality videos supporting this press release and more, please visit http://www.thenewsmarket.com/volvotrucks
Press images and films are available in the Volvo Trucks image and film gallery at http://images.volvotrucks.com

Volvo Trucks provides complete transport solutions for professional and demanding customers, offering a full range of medium to heavy duty trucks. Customer support is secured via a global network of 2,300 dealers and workshops in more than 140 countries. Volvo trucks are assembled in 16 countries across the globe. In 2012 more than 105,000 Volvo trucks were delivered worldwide. Volvo Trucks is part of the Volvo Group, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of trucks, buses and construction equipment, and drive systems for marine and industrial applications. The Group also provides solutions for financing and service. Volvo’s work is based on the core values quality, safety and environmental care. 

Shared with sustain2Green by email
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