The motor giant’s water reductions are largely a result of its investment in water saving technologies, such as its Dry Paint Overspray System, which eliminates water usage from the painting process, resulting in 80% water savings for air conditioning/air tempering.

The technology also delivers 100% water savings from paint over-spray separation, based on a production volume of 158,000 units per year.

In addition, the company is increasing the use of internal water metering to identify additional water saving opportunities and drive conservation behaviours to the department level. Ford says this has the potential to save approximately $75,000 (£48,000) on average per plant globally.

It is also utilizing sustainable stormwater management practices, such as vegetated roofs and porous pavers.

In late 2011, Ford announced that it aims to cut the amount of water used to make each vehicle by 30% globally from 2009 to 2015, which is currently equivalent to an average of 4 cubic meters (or 1,056 gallons) per vehicle.

In the company’s latest sustainability report, it states that it is “on track to reach this goal, even as we grow our business, adding plants and expanding production to meet global consumer demand”.

Between 2000 and 2012, Ford reduced its total global water use by 62%, or 10.6 billion gallons, by cutting the water used in “everything from cooling towers to parts washing to paint operations”.

“We decreased the total amount of water used around our global facilities from 64 million cubic meters per year to 24 million cubic meters,” it states.

In 2004, the company opened the rebuilt Dearborn Truck Plant at the Ford Rouge Centre, which incorporates extensive natural storm water management systems and what was then the largest green roof in the world.

“As we invest in new and existing facilities globally, we have been building on what we learned at the Ford Rouge Center and implementing other sustainable manufacturing technologies that use water more efficiently and provide environmental benefits,” the company states.

Leigh Stringer

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