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COMPETITION WATCH: Volvo’s New River Valley plant wins environmental award

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Volvo Trucks North America's New River Valley (NRV) plant received the Volvo Environmental Awar...

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Volvo Trucks North America’s New River Valley (NRV) plant received the Volvo Environmental Award for 2006 in recognition of its outstanding achievements in saving energy and reducing the environmental impact of the plant’s operations. The plant is located in Dublin, Va.

The prize was presented June 20 by Volvo CEO Leif Johansson at the Volvo Group’s internal environmental conference in Gothenburg, Sweden. NRV employees honoured for their work were: Stephen Pierett, Michael Kijak, Frank Stanley, Channon Maycook, Danny Arnlod and Thomas Newcomb.

The Volvo Environmental Award is an annual competition among Volvo’s businesses and facilities around the world. The award recognizes individuals or small groups of employees for environmental stewardship, including product design or development, production and manufacturing, and marketing or services. There must be measurable results from the actions, such as lower costs or reduced consumption of materials and energy.

“This award represents a sustained effort by the employees of the New River Valley Plant over a period of years,” said Jan Strmberg, vice-president and general manager of NRV. “During this time, we also introduced many new products, greatly increased production and added new production lines. Despite this, our team improved our environmental processes and benefited our community, while providing a positive return to our business.”

In recent years, NRV has made substantial changes in its chemical use and industrial processes. It has also focused on reducing consumption of water, energy and materials, while increasing recycling and minimizing waste material:

* Since 2003, the plant has reduced water consumption by half through recycling and reuse of water used for cab leak testing and in painting.

* A recycling program and increased sorting of refuse cut landfill waste in half since 2000. NRV currently recycles more than 75% of the waste generated at the plant.

* The amount of energy consumed by NRV for each truck produced has dropped by more than 60% since 2001, through a comprehensive energy management program.

NRV has also taken several environmentally significant steps in its paint process since 2000, including eliminating the use of heavy metals such as lead and chromium, and hazardous solvents. The plant also slashed the amount of volatile organic compounds (VOC) by 52.2%

In September 2005, the Commonwealth of Virginia awarded NRV the 2005 Governor’s Environmental Excellence Award for Manufacturers – Gold Level for its environmental programs. That award encourages excellence in environmental management by recognizing companies that go beyond regulatory compliance toward environmental stewardship.

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