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  • Writer's pictureVipanchi Jain

Sustainability at Ford

Henry Ford transformed not only the automobile but working life and the role of transportation. Americas’ third biggest auto manufacturer (in terms of number of vehicles sold), Ford, has a revenue of $136 billion as of June 2022, making it 22nd company in fortune 500. It has also assembled more than 1.7 million cars, trucks and SUVs in the U.S. in 2020

What to expect today:

  • Sustainability at Ford

  • Ford’s path to carbon neutrality

Sustainability at Ford

Image Source: Forbes

In 2021, total greenhouse gas emissions of Ford had been 50.84 MMT, majority of it coming from scope 3 emissions.

  • Scope 1: 3.91% of emissions

    • These are from direct emissions of operations and facility

  • Scope 2: 7.37% of emissions

    • Indirect emissions from use of electricity

  • Scope 3: 88.7% of emissions

    • Indirect emissions from purchased goods and services

Split of traditional and EV vehicles

Ford has announced plans to reorganize operations to separate its electric and internal combustion engine businesses into different units within the automaker by 2023. Ford’s investment in EV technologies is expected to be $50 billion by 2026 as it plans to produce more than 2 million electric vehicles by 2026.

Comparison with General Motors and Volkswagen

We compared the emissions of Ford and General Motors which are two of the biggest automakers in the United States.

*location based

Given the wide variability between Ford and GM, we also compared the number to Volkswagen group and found the emission intensity of GM and Volkswagen comparable which makes us wonder why the emissions intensity of Ford is so much lower. At this point we are not sure whether to believe the numbers given by Ford or whether to believe Ford is much ahead of the curve when it comes to reducing emissions.

We also compared the goals of Ford and GM and found:

  • Ford plans to go carbon neutral by 2050 by accelerating their zero emission vehicle plan

  • GM plans to become carbon neutral in their global products and operations by 2040. Read more about its sustainability goals here.

Ford's path to carbon neutrality

Image Source: FordMedia

As a part of their focus on innovation and sustainable growth, the investments they are making today will help them lead the electric revolution at scale, and in a way that has positive impacts on people and the planet.

Creating a sustainable manufacturing ecosystem - Blue Oval City

Ford is creating a first of its kind automotive manufacturing ecosystem in Tennessee called Blue Oval City which is designed to achieve carbon neutrality, send zero waste to landfill, and use freshwater only for human consumption once fully operational. Ford has committed to invest $5.6 billion for this initiative alongside SK Innovation. The facility takes its name from Ford's logo, and will primarily consist of an automotive assembly plant that will produce electric Ford F-150 Lightning pickup trucks and a plant that will manufacture electric vehicle batteries, as well as a battery recycling facility, suppliers, and a training center.

Partnership for a Cleaner Environment program (PACE)

Ford relies on thousands of suppliers to provide the materials, parts and services to make final products. Through the PACE initiative Ford is teaching their suppliers about energy, water and CO2 emissions savings initiatives that they have implemented across their facilities.They are also encouraging their Tier 1 suppliers to share these leading practices with their own suppliers.

  • PACE participants expect to save an estimated 182 million gallons of water in their operations from 2020 to 2030. Their new streamlined version of the program, FastPACE, is helping reduce the impact of key suppliers in China, India, Thailand and South Africa. FastPACE suppliers are on track to save an estimated 24 million gallons of water over the next three years.

  • Ford has also been working with suppliers to cut their C02 emissions. As an example, Ford supplier DENSO has been participating in PACE since the program began in 2014. So far, DENSO has set targets for CO2 reductions in its manufacturing processes. The global supplier also focuses on cutting back electricity and water use with highly efficient equipment by installing closed circuit cooling systems and replacing metal halide lights with T-8 LED lighting. With all such suppliers participating in PACE, CO2 emissions could be reduced by close to 500,000 MT worldwide during the next 5 years.

Go green dealership program- improving energy efficiency

Through its Go Green Initiative, Ford is by partnering with independently owned, franchised Ford dealers to improve energy efficiency at their facilities.

  • Ford has focused on 5 primary opportunities - Exterior and interior lighting, Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, water usage, building envelope and possible renewable energy use

  • It began with three dealerships in Florida, New York, and Nevada, and has since expanded to almost half of Ford’s dealership body

  • Dealers take advantage of Ford’s expertise and resources to expand their knowledge of energy efficiency and renewable energy opportunities and to earn recognition for their progress

Recycling batteries with redwood

Redwood Materials announced a partnership with Ford Motor Company in Sep ‘21 that they are working together to build out battery recycling and a domestic battery supply chain for electric vehicles.

  • Ford invested $50 million into redwood materials to help expand Redwood’s manufacturing footprint.

  • Redwood’s recycling technology can recover, on average, more than 95% of the elements like nickel, cobalt, lithium and copper.

  • These materials can be reused in a closed-loop with Redwood moving to produce anode copper foil and cathode active materials for future battery production.

Read more about our profile of Redwood materials here.

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