Ford sustainability innovations over the past two decades
Ford Motor Company released its 18th annual Sustainability Report, including a short film, detailing its environmental progress across the world and commitment to continued sustainability actions in the future.
Since 2000, Ford has published its Sustainability Report to track its comprehensive approach to managing the issues related to climate change, air quality and conservation, and identifying opportunities that have significant impacts across the business, from water stewardship to supplier training and education.
“We know climate change is real and a critical threat, and we will continue to work with leaders around the world in support of ambitious global greenhouse gas reduction targets,” said Executive Chairman Bill Ford. “At the same time, we have the opportunity to make real environmental progress as we move into a world of smart vehicles and smart environments, including car sharing, multi-modal transportation and dynamic shuttles.”
Ford has collaborated with several other leading organizations throughout the years to increase the company’s transparency and depth of environmental initiatives. A good example of this is Ford’s recent pledge to the Business Alliance for Water and Climate’s “Improve Water Security” initiative in June – the first automaker to do so.
Business Alliance for Water and Climate is a partnership between the United Nations Global Compact’s CEO Water Mandate, Carbon Disclosure Project, SUEZ and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. This coalition created a program of actions for companies to demonstrate their commitment to being responsible water stewards.
“Every day, we work to do the right things for our customers, communities and the planet,” said Kim Pittel, group vice president, sustainability, environment and safety engineering. “Through our integrated sustainability approach, we’re embedding sustainability best practices throughout our company and our supply chain to help make people’s lives better.”
Sustainability Report Highlights
The 2016-17 Ford Sustainability Report highlights key environmental benchmarks and the automaker’s ongoing work to address issues related to climate change, including:
Believing that access to clean water is a human right, Ford made the decision to join the Business Alliance for Water and Climate “Improve Water Security” initiative enables the company to help analyze water-related risks, implement collaborative response strategies and reduce impacts on water availability and quality in both direct operations and along the value chain. Since 2000, Ford has cut water use by more than 61 percent, with a goal of zero usage of drinkable water in manufacturing. In addition, Ford suppliers who participate in the voluntary Partnership for a Cleaner Environment program are on track to save an estimated 550 million gallons of water over the next five years – enough to fill 837 competition-sized swimming pools, according to data collected in 2016.
Ford continued to expand its sustainable materials research efforts through a collaboration with Jose Cuervo to explore the use of agave plants to develop a sustainable bioplastic material to incorporate in vehicles, giving the agave fiber byproduct a second chance at usefulness. Almost 300 vehicle parts are derived from renewable sources such as soybeans, cotton, wood, flax, jute and natural rubber.
Ford has an ongoing commitment to reducing waste in its manufacturing facilities, and as part of that commitment, the automaker expanded its aluminum closed-loop recycling system to three factories. Now in use at Dearborn Stamping, Kentucky Truck and Buffalo Stamping facilities, Ford’s system recycles 20 million pounds of military-grade aluminum alloy a month, enough to build more than 37,000 F-Series truck bodies a month.
Supply Chain Sustainability
In addition to reducing the company’s own environmental footprint, Ford is reducing the footprint of its supply chain with an enhanced Partnership for a Cleaner Environment program that has grown to more than 40 suppliers in 40 countries – up from just 25 suppliers in 2015. Partnership for a Cleaner Environment, which originally focused on water and energy conservation, now has grown to offer best practices for reducing waste, carbon dioxide and air emissions. Carbon emissions could be reduced by nearly 500,000 metric tons globally in the next five years.
Ford expanded its true zero-waste-to-landfill program to 82 Ford facilities around the world – 49 manufacturing facilities and 33 non-manufacturing facilities – where absolutely no waste goes to landfill. This includes the historical Ford Rouge Center, the largest complex in the company to send no manufacturing waste to landfills, as well as the North American World Headquarters – diverting more than 240,000 pounds of waste from landfills.
The report also details year-over-year progress and goals around the company’s work in the areas of improving safety and fuel economy, reducing manufacturing carbon dioxide, the company global electrification strategy and more.
For the eighth year in a row, Ford was named to Ethisphere Institute’s “World’s Most Ethical Company” list – the only automaker to achieve this recognition.
Ford is proud of all of accomplishments made in its sustainability journey over the last two decades, but it’s not over – there is still much more work to be done.
“We’ve come a long, long way and we’ve got a long way to go,” said Bill Ford in the film. “We believe we have an obligation to leave this world better than we found it.”