Ford has reduced the amount of energy required to produce each vehicle in its manufacturing facilities by 22% in the last six years. The company also announced plans to reduce usage another 25% on a per-vehicle basis by 2016.
Other successful initiatives—highlighted in Ford’s 13th annual Sustainability Report—include reductions in water use, waste-to-landfill and CO2 emissions as well as improvements in vehicle fuel economy and safety.
The amount of electricity used to produce each vehicle in Ford’s manufacturing facilities has been reduced by about 800 kilowatt-hours—from 3,576 kWh in 2006 to 2,778 kWh in 2011. By comparison, average households in states like California, New York, Illinois and Michigan use between 562 kwh and 799 kwh monthly.
Ford’s progress has been achieved by investing in energy-saving practices and equipment. At Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Mich., for example, the company uses a new “three-wet” paint application that reduces electricity use along with CO2 and Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) emissions.
At the same plant, a new 500-kilowatt solar panel system has been installed to generate renewable energy for production of Ford vehicles like Focus and Focus Electric.
In addition to its commitment to further reducing energy consumption, Ford also:
Reduced the total amount of waste sent to landfills globally by 11.3% from 2010 to 2011;
Plans to further reduce its waste to landfill by 10% per vehicle this year, building on existing efforts that have reduced global waste by 100 million pounds (44%) in the last five years;
Reduced CO2 emissions from global operations in 2011 by 8% on a per-vehicle basis compared with 2010;
Turned what would have been 163 tons of recovered paint solids into enough power for 20 residential homes for one year through just one of many new ways the company is converting waste to energy;
Advanced water-treatment technologies to allow the reuse of water and reduce water supply requirements, water discharges and use of treatment chemicals and the generation of solid waste;
Reduced water use to 4.7 cubic meters per vehicle in 2011 within a corporate goal of reducing the amount of water used per vehicle by 30% between 2009 and 2015.
Ford vehicles continue to be a major focal point of the company’s efforts to reduce environmental impact. For example, the seat fabric in most of Ford’s new or redesigned vehicles must now consist of at least 25% post-industrial or post-consumer recycled content. A total of 37 fabrics now meet the requirements and have been incorporated into Ford vehicles. Other highlights include:
A seat fabric containing a fiber made from recycled plastic water bottles is being used in the Focus Electric, Fusion Hybrid and Fusion Energi;
Nonwoven headliner fabrics now contain 50 to 75% recycled yarns, depending on the color;
Post-consumer recycled nylon is used in some underhood parts, including air cleaner housings, engine fans, fan shrouds, HVAC temperature valves, engine covers, cam covers and carbon canisters;
Nearly 4.1 million pounds of carpet has been recycled into cylinder head covers, the equivalent of a carpet the size of more than 150 football fields—eliminating the use of more than 430,000 gallons of oil;
Use of seat foam made with soy oil in all North America vehicles, also reducing dependency oil-use and CO2 emissions.