Swedes choose to put health of people and environment first
Lerato Matebese spoke with Lars Martensson, director of environment and innovation at Volvo Trucks
Lars Martensson has a rather intriguing, if a little daunting, job at Volvo Trucks as its director of environment and innovation. He is essentially not only responsible for innovation for the manufacturer, but also has to negotiate with Gothenburg’s government stakeholders on how to go about making the city a safer and cleaner place to live in. The latter issue remains a concern for many cities, particularly with the dense number of vehicles that emit noxious gases into the atmosphere. Air pollution According to Martensson, some of the things in his remit include having a holistic view of air pollution, which he says is still a cause of premature deaths due to related illness. "About 300 premature deaths in Gothenburg due to particles are recorded in the city, while there are 14,000 Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALYS) in Sweden, while noxious gases prevent densification due to EU legislation," says Martensson. He also says that noise pollution is a major concern with socioeconomi...