Volvo’s New River Valley plant wins environmental award

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DUBLIN, Va. — Volvo Trucks North America’s New River Valley plant has won Virginia’s highest environmental award for the second time.

The plant was awarded a gold medal and governor’s flag at a recent 2008 Governor’s Environmental Excellence award ceremony, for employing advanced technology to recycle and re-use 70% of wastewater generated by its production activities.

The award encourages excellence in environmental management by recognizing companies that go beyond regulatory compliance toward environmental stewardship. Volvo was one of only two companies in Virginia recognized at this level.

“Volvo is dedicated to environmental care, whether it is through reducing water use at New River Valley, or by building trucks with outstanding fuel economy and very low emissions,” said Volvo’s Per Carlsson. “This award is another example of Volvo’s leadership in reducing our environmental impact through innovative technology.”

According to Volvo, the wastewater recycling system reduced the plant’s water consumption by nearly 600,000 gallons per month during the second half of 2007. The recycled water is used for the cooling towers, air supply house, paint booth water, cab parts washer, and “electrocoat” process water.

The recycling system first went into operation in March, 2006. It uses two forms of membrane filtration technology to remove contaminants and return the water to the desired level of quality. Research by NRV personnel determined that the combination of reverse osmosis and nanofiltration provided the smallest operational costs, best energy efficiency and greatest water quality, compared to other methods studied, states Volvo.

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