Ford focuses on water after hitting 2015 reduction target

Ford is now in the process of setting a new long-term water reduction target having achieved its 2015 goal to cut global water use per vehicle by 30% two years ahead of schedule.

According to the company’s 2013-14 Sustainability Report, Ford reduced the average amount of water used to make each vehicle by 5% between 2012 and 2013, contributing to a 61% reduction in total global water use since the year 2000 – more than 10 billion gallons. (Scroll down for full report).

The company said: “Our efforts around water have evolved over the years; we have moved beyond merely reducing the water footprint of our own facilities to working more holistically outside our corporate walls, addressing water concerns in our supply chain and our broader communities.”

Earlier this year, Ford published its corporate water strategy, which builds upon the company’s 2011 water strategy for manufacturing operations. The corporate water strategy is designed to have ‘substantial, sustainable and measureable impacts’ within Ford’s own facilities, across its supply chain and in its regions of operation.

Technology investment

The motor firm’s water reductions are largely a result of its investment in water-saving technologies such as the 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.

Later in 2014, Ford will begin asking its major suppliers to voluntarily report on their water use through a CDP Water questionnaire; as part of the company’s efforts to understand the water risks, implications and accounting within its supply chain.

“Once we understand which of our suppliers have the largest water footprints, we aspire to work with them to achieve reductions,” added Ford. “Our goal is to teach our suppliers about the water savings initiatives we have implemented across our plants with hopes that they will implement some of our initiatives within their own facilities.”

Further down the report, Ford highlights that it has set a goal to reduce its facility carbon emissions per vehicle by 30% by 2025, compared to a 2010 baseline – building on a reduction of 31% from 2000 to 2010.

And in terms of waste, Ford last year introduced a new plan to reduce waste sent to landfill by 40% on a per vehicle basis between 2011 and 2016 globally. The firm has already reduced global per vehicle waste to landfill by 40% from 2007 to 2011. In 2013, Ford facilities globally sent approximately 49,800 metric tons of waste to landfill, a reduction of 5.4% from 2012.

Read the full Ford Sustainability Report 2013/14 below.

Luke Nicholls

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