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In the loop - Sustainability at volvo with aira Mello

17 February 2023

Aira shares insights on sustainability matters comparing Sweden and Portugal, as well as industry specific and natually from Volvo cars. Electrification and clean sources of energy continues a top priority while blockchain technology is gaining more traction. This text is part of the *CLS Quarterly Outlooks

For the mobility industry, no-one has failed to recognize that electrification has been a major focus for several years now and continues being a top priority. More so, I believe that companies in various sectors are aiming towards becoming climate neutral in the near future. The strategic goals are not only being discussed, but today one can see various measures being implemented.  

Companies invested in driving sustainability forward are highly dependent on governmental policies, local incentives and infrastructure. Within the EU the conditions for this vary from country to country. Two good examples are uncertainties regarding and lack of charging spots. This does not benefit the drivers nor the industry. Long-term governmental incentives are therefore crucial for those making large and impactful investments for future sustainable solutions and products. 

Both Portugal and Sweden are adapting fast to the new reality – it’s now clear the world is shifting to electric just like it has from horses to petrol cars in the early 1900s. Although the electricity infrastructure in Sweden is far more evident, Portugal is paving the way towards it. We now see more superchargers and electrified streets, but they are unfortunately still not enough. This is the main bottle neck for the shift for many consumers. However, having electric cars charged by fossil fuel beats its purpose. Hence the importance of electric power coming from clean sources. In Sweden, 70% of electric power comes from clean sources, while in Portugal the rate is 60%. The PT government has recently announced it is expected to be 80% clean by 2025.

It’s also paramount to know “at what cost” are we shifting. Have you asked yourself were does the raw materials comes from? Child labour? Resources exploitation? To tackle this, “blockchain technology” is more and more used. It consists of a digital ledger containing a list of records linked to each other via cryptography. Within supply chains, it creates unchangeable records of transactions, while also enforcing a common set of rules for what data can be recorded. For this, it has become incredibly important but is, however, expensive. At Volvo, blockchain is implemented since 2017 within the framework of ensuring clean, and ethical raw materials to the production of batteries - ending up in the more visible part: cars. In fact, the traceability of materials, such as cobalt, is one of the main challenges car makers face. Through blockchain, we can ensure our customers can drive electrified cars with a clean conscience. 

I hope to see more efforts from governments, lawmakers, power companies, banks and human awareness with the aim to make electrification accessible, ethical and affordable for all. It’s a joint effort, only together we will save the future of the next generations.

*This text is a part of the article series CLS Quarterly Outlooks. Once every quarter, CLS asks experts within three areas, sustainability, legal, and economy, to comment on main trends and insights within their respective sector. The CLS Quarterly Outlooks highlights the Portuguese market with the aim of giving an overview to the international business community. Do you have suggestions or want to contribute to the CLS Quarterly Outlooks please send an email to


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