Decreased energy consumption during vehicle manufacturing is just one highlight of Ford’s 13th annual Sustainability Report. The report – ‘Blueprint for Sustainability: Accelerating Ahead’ – is a comprehensive showcase of the company’s efforts to tackle a myriad of sustainability challenges in a rapidly changing world. Other successful initiatives featured include reductions in water use, waste-to-landfill and CO² emissions as well as improvements in vehicle fuel economy and safety.
“Sustainability has moved from the periphery to the centre of our strategy for succeeding in the marketplace and helping to address global challenges,” said Robert Brown, vice president, Sustainability, Environment and Safety Engineering.
Ford issued its first Sustainability Report in 1999 to address the company’s initiatives regarding social, economic and environmental issues. Like Ford’s sustainability-related processes and results, the report has evolved, too.
“Our sustainability report is far from a bunch of tables and charts,” said John Viera, global director, Sustainability and Vehicle Environmental Matters. “Anyone who spends any amount of time with it will truly get a sense of just how committed Ford is to supporting positive change and reducing the environmental impact of its products and facilities.”
Consider the drop in energy consumption: 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.
Through continued efforts the company projects a continued drop in energy consumption – 25% between 2011 and 2016. This commitment is made against a backdrop of the U.S. Department of Energy announcement last September that global energy demand will increase by 53% between 2008 and 2035.
Environmental reduction in energy consumption is just one result of Ford’s focus on minimising the environmental impact of the vehicles it produces and the facilities where they are made.
Each Ford facility uses measured environmental targets to track and accelerate improvements designed with the environment in mind. The targets are reviewed and updated annually.
“Integration of our sustainability initiatives into the Ford production system has enabled us to accelerate environmental improvements at our manufacturing facilities,” said Andy Hobbs, director, Environmental Quality Office. “This enables all members of the Ford manufacturing team to contribute to meeting our environmental targets.”
Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa’s (FMCSA) state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Silverton, Pretoria, where Ford Motor Company’s global pickup, the Ford Ranger is manufactured, forms part of Ford’s sustainability efforts.
The $100-million state-of-the-art plant utilises the latest auto manufacturing technologies, automated systems and process, and includes a fully integrated stamping line and body shop, trim and final process area.
FMCSA has also made great strides in innovative energy reduction initiatives at its Silverton Assembly Plant, east of Pretoria. In the past, Ford relied entirely on the electricity billing information provided by the municipality. This meant there was no means of identifying departments that consumed more electricity than others, making it difficult to drive an effective energy saving programme.
In order to combat these challenges, FMCSA introduced the Departmental Electricity Metering and Monitoring System. Planning began in 2009, with the system fully operational from October 2011. The system allows FMCSA to monitor real time electricity usage by department and plot usage trends over extended periods. South Africa is the first of Ford’s global markets to implement such an initiative and has now set the benchmark for other Ford markets to aspire to.
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