Volvo For Life Fund launches with a mission to improve a million lives

Volvo Cars has launched a new philanthropic fund with the ambition to positively impact a million lives over time through support initiatives in the communities in which we operate.

The Volvo For Life Fund will focus initially on social and environmental initiatives that centre around empowering people, restoring and preserving our planet, and providing protection when natural disasters strike.

By working together with global and local partners, and channeling the engagement of communities and our employees, the Volvo For Life Fund continues our heritage of care and safety.

“We have a long history of social, environmental and community engagement, and I’m proud that we continue this tradition through the launch of the Volvo For Life Fund,” says Jim Rowan, chief executive of Volvo Cars. “It will enable us to work alongside expert global and local partners to address global challenges close to our company’s values, and help create lasting, positive change.”

People, the planet and protection
The Volvo For Life Fund will be organised into three focus areas, themed around people, the planet and protection. Guided by local voices and insights, and delivered through trusted partners, many of the fund’s initiatives will be tailored to address the challenges of the different communities in which we operate.

For people, we want to help create safer, more empowered and socially mobile environments in marginalised communities. We will focus on creating and increasing educational and socio-economic opportunities for young people and children.

For our planet, we will invest in local and global projects dedicated to the restoration and preservation of natural ecosystems and biodiversity, and supporting the fight against climate change. There will be an initial emphasis on reforestation and ocean health, as well as community engagement.

For protection, we will support emergency response and relief efforts that help to meet immediate humanitarian needs when natural disasters occur in countries linked to our value chain. We will also support longer term work to ensure that education and learning remain a priority even when natural disasters strike.

The first partnerships
Our fund’s first partners are Girls Who Code, One Tree Planted and Save the Children, each connected to one of our focus areas.

Our partnership with Girls Who Code will help address the current underrepresentation of women in computer science and software engineering roles, with the ambition to equip young women with the coding skills and confidence necessary to excel in this field.

In our work with One Tree Planted we support reforestation and urban tree planting projects in seven countries across five continents, with the aim to plant over half a million trees and restore over 450 hectares of land each year.

By partnering with Save the Children, we help build the resilience of educational systems in countries prone to natural disasters, provide temporary learning spaces in emergency situations and make sure that children can return safely back to learning after an emergency – all to help safeguard and sustain children's education.

Volvo Cars has always had a focus on safety, and one of our most important contributions is the modern three-point safety belt. Since we introduced it in 1959, and later granted free use of its design, the safety belt is estimated* to have saved a million lives. That’s why we now aim to improve a million lives with the Volvo For Life Fund.

With this fund, we recognise its modest size and prioritise continuous learning and development. We appreciate the power of well-designed small-scale initiatives, whether they're local or global in scope. Our approach emphasises progress one step at a time, understanding the importance of every contribution within the broader context of positive change.

We will track our impact via our partners and include programme-specific targets that measure our contributions to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

“At Volvo Cars, our goal is clear: to create scalable, long-term impact, just like we did when we shared the three-point safety belt for all to use,” says Jim Rowan. “We know we can make real change – every action counts, big or small, as it brings us closer to a safer world.”