Innovating Steel Production: Volvo Group's Milestones in the Green Revolution

In our continuing journey towards reducing carbon emissions and revolutionizing the industry, Volvo Group is taking the lead in embracing fossil-free steel. As commercial vehicles increasingly run on electrified solutions - reducing the emissions when the product is in use - the environmental footprint from the supply network and production becomes increasingly important.

With extensive partnerships that include Swedish steel companies SSAB and H2 Green Steel, Volvo Group is making significant strides in incorporating sustainable materials into our vehicles and equipment.

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A history of green steel collaboration

We have been pioneering these sustainable collaborations for some time now. Back in 2021, we developed the world’s first vehicle made from fossil-free steel. Just eight months later, we not only handed over an A30G articulated hauler made from fossil-free steel to our customer NCC – now in operation in Sweden – but we also introduced the material into the production of our electric heavy-duty trucks, the Volvo FH, Volvo FM and Volvo FMX. We were the first truck manufacturer in the world to do so.
While initially included in the trucks’ frame rails, the structural backbone of the vehicle, fossil-free steel will find its way into various other components of the truck, as its availability continues to increase.
Together with our partners, we are demonstrating an accelerated innovation roadmap that ensures low-carbon technologies are not only developed quickly and reliably across different transport streams, but are introduced into the market as a viable commercial reality.

How is green steel made?

What sets this fossil-free steel apart is its production process, which relies on hydrogen.
This process results in significantly lower carbon emissions compared to conventional steel production methods.
SSAB's goal is to offer fossil-free steel on an industrial scale to the market as early as 2026, with plans to nearly eliminate carbon dioxide emissions from its operations by 2030. It aims to create complete fossil-free value chains, from the mining of raw materials to the end product.
It is a climate pathway that is supported by Martin Lundstedt, President and CEO of Volvo Group, who called it “an additional step towards fully climate neutral transport and infrastructure solutions”. The Group’s partnership with SSAB is just one example of how it is accelerating its ramp-up.

Making the most of surplus hydrogen

Green steel provides us with even more opportunities to reduce our climate impact. Take for example, Sweden’s largest hydrogen plant, which was inaugurated in September this year.
Operated by steelmaker Ovako, it is the world's first facility for producing fossil-free hydrogen to heat steel before rolling. Its goal is to reduce CO2 emissions from this production step to nearly zero, with only water as a byproduct. In addition to steel heating, the surplus fossil-free hydrogen will be used for fueling Volvo fuel cell-powered trucks and our other heavy duty solutions.
It is part of an agreement Volvo Group signed, as the very first OEM, back in 2021 and represents a powerful partnership to develop industrial-level hydrogen production and establish a strong hydrogen infrastructure for the transport sector.

Introducing near zero emission steel

As another step forward towards a net zero GHG emission value chain by 2040, we’re now also partnering with H2 Green Steel to ramp up our access to near zero emission steel. Production is planned to start at the end of 2025 – and we are expected to be among the first to introduce it.
This is another crucial initiative and one that we hope other businesses will follow if they work with steel anywhere in their supply chain. According to estimates from Our World in Data and Carbon Brief, 7-11% of total CO2 emissions come from steel production, with the industry contributing to 5% of the CO2 emissions in the EU alone. Near zero emission steel focuses on reducing emissions to a point where the impact on the environment is significantly minimized, if not entirely eliminated.
And as it is one of our primary materials used for our trucks, buses, and construction machines, we know that we can make a massive impact in our emissions by ramping up our access to both near zero emission steel and fossil free steel.
This initiative falls in line with one of the commitments we made as part of the First Movers Coalition, “to have at least 10% of all steel purchased per year to be near zero emissions by 2030”.
H2 Green Steel’s CEO, Henrik Henriksson, also commented on the collaboration and the hopeful precedent it sets for the industry as a whole:
"The commercial vehicle industry has actively been driving the demand for green steel, validating the market interest. When an undeniable large player like Volvo Group, working at the forefront of sustainable change, places a customer order it’s a clear sign of confidence in both our company and our product.”
Our hope moving forward is that this collaboration showcases the possibilities of lowering emissions even in some of the most emission-heavy industries like transport. Many businesses feel as if they’re trapped by the circumstances of the field that they operate in, without considering that there are always better means of production for our planet. At the very least, you can simply reduce emissions, but in scenarios like this you can identify new solutions that set new standards for an entire supply chain.
To read more about our collaboration with H2 Steel, click below:

  • Munene Mugambi

    30 w

    Looking to see Volvo's sustainability agenda achieved in regards to climate change and ensuring their carbon emissions are cut

    • Christina Carlmark

      30 w

      Large companies in their transition to low carbon enable new ways of production. Collaboration is key! Way to go Volvo Group.

      • Gorffly mokua

        30 w

        This initiative underlines the pivotal role of large corporations in driving forward cleaner and greener practices!

        • Tabitha Kimani

          30 w

          Volvo, you have done wonders on the road to decarbonizing your operations. Great collaborations will surely see massive reduction in emissions.

          • George Kariuki

            30 w

            It is very encouraging to see Volvo Group taking a leading role in the development of fossil-free steel.

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