Ford Motor releases 18th Sustainability Report, shows Significant Environmental Progress in India

Ford Motor Company released its 18th Annual Sustainability Report focusing on the company’s efforts to address sustainability across the business, including significant environmental progress in India

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Photo: Ford Plant

NEW DELHI: Ford Motor Company released its 18th annual Sustainability Report, including a short film, that details environmental progress at its operations around the world and a commitment to further enhance sustainability actions in the future.

Asia’s growth story has lifted hundreds of millions from poverty and created tens of millions of new jobs. However, it has come at a price – diverse environmental challenges now confront the region. Now as governments, communities and individuals rise to meet these challenges, this new report details how Ford is leveraging key learnings from its leading environmental practices around the world to its operations in Asia Pacific.

“One of the key reasons for this is that they benefit from all that we’ve learned over our more than 100 years of Ford manufacturing history,” said Andy Hobbs, global director of Ford’s Environmental Quality Office. “Many of our plants in Asia Pacific are less than a decade old, so have allowed us to apply everything we know about sustainability from other operations around the world.”

Sustainability Report Highlights

Since 2000, Ford has published its Sustainability Report to track the company’s comprehensive approach to managing issues related to climate change, air quality and conservation, as well as to identify opportunities that can have a significant impact across the business. The 2016-17 Ford Sustainability Report highlights several environmental performance indicators in India, including:

Water Stewardship

Only about one percent of the planet’s water is available for human use. That makes water conservation vital for the sustainability of business operations.

“In India, our plants in Chennai have already achieved zero liquid discharge and have also installed equipment to harvest rainwater to further reduce drinking water use. In 2016 alone, 3,000 cubic meters of rainwater was collected.”, said report.

“Our Sanand facility in India has one of Ford’s largest and most advanced water and wastewater treatment facilities –100 percent of the treated water here is used for recycling and reuse within the property. These measures have saved 219,000 cubic meters of freshwater in 2016 and mean that there is zero wastewater discharge at the Sanand plant.” it added.

Achieving zero waste to landfill

Eighty-two of Ford’s company sites worldwide are already zero waste to landfill, including the 2 plants in India amongst the 13 facilities in Asia Pacific. When a facility is given landfill-free status, it means absolutely no waste is sent to a landfill site. For every car produced in Ford’s Asia Pacific region in 2016, there was over 90 percent less waste sent to landfills compared to 2011. Ford achieves this through many ways, such as waste segregation, recycling and reusing, and increasing the use of eco-friendly packaging.

Driving innovation across the business

One side effect of Ford’s plants in Asia being so sustainable is that they find it much harder to meet Ford’s annual global sustainability improvement targets than, say, a 50-year old factory in Dearborn, Michigan. “We have plants in Asia that are the best performers, but we’re asking them to go even further. The engineers have to be really innovative to go that next step,”said Hobbs.

A good example of this innovation can be found in India. Introduction of the 3-wet painting technology at Ford’s Chennai and Sanand facilities. This technology helps improve paint durability, enhance overall paint efficiency and reduce volatile organic compound emissions. It has led to 23% reduction of hazardous emissions. Ford’s Chennai plant was world’s first plant to introduce this technology.

Reducing congestion & ownership costs through car sharing

Addressing the significant pain point for commuters in the growing megacities in Asia Pacific is core to Ford’s strategy to become both an auto and a mobility company.

“Our investment in India’s leading car-sharing company Zoomcar supports our vision to make urban mobility more convenient.Ford has been Zoomcar’s largest vehicle supplier and both companies have worked closely on a number of mobility experiments, including a car-sharing experiment in Bangalore. This provides several insights on the mobility needs of consumers who want to experience the benefits of a car, while spreading its use across multiple owners.” report added.

Working, Caring and Sharing

In addition to reducing our own environmental footprint, Ford is working with World Vision, the international children’s charity, to help connect remote and impoverished communities in India with healthcare and education services. We have provided World Vision with two specially equipped Ford Endeavour SUVs – a Mobile Health vehicle and a Mobile Library – which also have Ford’s OpenXC platform. These vehicles help the organization provide its services reliably and efficiently.

In the first four months following the handover of the vehicles, the Mobile Library reached approximately 7,580 people. In the same period, the Mobile Clinic worked closely with the Tamil Nadu health authorities to support the government’s measles–rubella immunization campaign. Approximately 3,100 children across 16 villages received vaccines.

Being a responsible business

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.

In 2016, a total of 3,000 employees volunteered nearly 10,000 man-hours to 41 programs that addressed education, health, environment, women’s empowerment and humanitarian support. Ford volunteers worked with local schools to organize a Science Fair in Sanand and an Inter School Arts Exhibition in Chennai to help deliver holistic education for almost 2,000 students.

Ford is proud of all of accomplishments made in its sustainability journey over the last two decades, but 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 produced to accompany this report. “We believe we have an obligation to leave this world better than we found it.”

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