Polestar: ‘We want a truly climate-neutral car by 2030’
One of the striking items in car manufacturer Polestar’s first annual review is the aim to create the first truly climate-neutral car by 2030. The Polestar 0 project wants to eliminate all emissions in a car’s production process without so-called offsetting (compensating emissions by planting trees, for example).
Environmental experts have already warned several times that offsetting is not sustainable in the long run. Questions around the long-term carbon storage capacity of forests and soils remain, as a forest might be logged, devastated by fire, or altered by climate change.
Offsetting is not sustainable
“Offsetting is a cop-out,” says Thomas Ingenlath, Polestar’s CEO. “By pushing ourselves to create a completely climate-neutral car, we are forced to reach beyond what is possible today. We will have to question everything, innovate, and look to exponential technologies as we design toward zero.”
Polestar’s Head of Sustainability, Fredrika Klarén, says: “We’re electric, so we don’t have to worry about combustion engines producing toxic emissions – but that doesn’t mean our job is done. We will now work to eradicate all emissions stemming from production.”
“Now is a historic and exciting time for carmakers,” Klarén continues, “an opportunity to seize the moment, do better, and dare to build the dream of climate-neutral, circular, and beautiful cars.”
Sustainability declarations are already common in industries like food and fashion. They will be applied to all future Polestar models too. Starting with Polestar 2 and initially disclosing carbon footprint and traced risk materials, labeling will appear on the company website and in Polestar Spaces, setting a transparency precedent for the industry.
Reflecting continuous sustainability updates, additional details and information will be given over time. The footprint will be indicated in CO2e, which stands for carbon dioxide equivalent. It’s a way to combine different greenhouse gases in one common figure.
The corresponding data for the current Polestar 2 are 26,2 tCO2e, and cobalt is the traced risk material. Thomas Ingenlath comments: “Consumers are a huge driving force in the shift to a sustainable economy. They need to be given the right tools to make informed and ethical decisions. This makes things very clear,” he concludes. “Today, Polestar 2 leaves the factory gates with a carbon footprint. In 2030, we want to present a car that does not.”
Polestar shows its good intentions regarding sustainability with this initiative, but the process won’t be simple. They will have to solve problems and look for collaborations throughout the whole production process. The whole value chain must be involved, starting with the raw materials suppliers up to the end-retailers and even the clients.