In a live webinar hosted by Ford today (January 30), Ford manager of environmental quality Europe Andreas Reiss offered insight into how the latest five-year sustainability strategy, which launched in 2011, would achieve a target of cutting water usage by a third, as well as unveiling investment made by the company.

According to Mr Reiss, water management is crucial to Ford’s operations as “water availability has become a global issue, well beyond environmental”.

As a result, Ford has made a firm commitment to reduce water use by 30% by 2016, compared with a 2009 baseline, and has set tough new objectives in its latest water strategy to achieve this.

Following assessment of Ford’s water usage, Mr Reiss said: “It turned out from a technical point of view our operations are very water efficient, but the operational tools of the plant could be improved”.

Ford has, said Mr Reiss, invested in areas where “water-savings are meaningful”, such as facility water reductions, new technologies at its plants, and water management tools all playing a major role.

He added: “We have implemented additional water assessments and given staff better tools to manage the daily water business to help identify water reductions.”

Meanwhile, Ford also hopes to build on the success of its 2000 global water strategy, which saw a reduction in global use of 62%, with a water saving of 37% per vehicle produced since 2007. Mr Reiss said that it has now increases this water reduction target from 3.5cu m in 2011 to 2.4cu m in 2016.

However, the real challenge for Ford, warned Mr Reiss, will be maintaining the rate of water reduction as it is a “demanding target”, adding that “up-front investment in technology and training” will be needed to continue the pace.

Carys Matthews

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