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Q&A with Robert Brown on Ford’s Sustainability Report
​DEARBORN - Ford has issued its 13th annual Sustainability Report – a comprehensive showcase of Ford’s efforts to tackle a myriad of sustainability challenges of a rapidly changing world. Robert Brown, vice president, Sustainability, Environment and Safety Engineering recently spoke with @Ford Online to discuss the report. Click here to read.
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Over the past year, we've all worked together to significantly advance our business. The vehicles you help to put on the road are among the world's best, and our company is stronger than it's been in years. But we, as Ford employees, have something more to be proud of: our commitment to our environment and community, and to others around the world, which is unparalleled in our industry.
For 13 years now, we have documented this work and progress in our sustainability report, "Blueprint for Sustainability," which is now available at This report details our environmental and social performance, which is the result of your work and commitment to producing superior products and conducting our general business with minimal environmental impacts.  This should be a source of pride for us all.
Highlights in this year's report include:
• Letters from Bill Ford and myself, along with a video message from Alan Mulally, outlining our progress in integrating sustainability into our business and collaborating with other organizations on sustainability issues
• A summary of Ford performance highlights from 2011 and our commitment to providing sustainable products that customers want
• A summary of Ford's commitment to doing our share to reduce the potential for environmental, economic and social harm from climate change
• New regional sections regarding our business units and a Supply Chain Sustainability section detailing our industry-leading human rights initiatives, including our work with Global Strategic Suppliers, and our leadership of a project to promote decent working conditions throughout the automotive supply chain
• An update on Ford's comprehensive “Power of Choice” electrification strategy
• A section on “Financial Health” that summarizes the challenges facing our company and our industry and how Ford is addressing these challenges through our ONE Ford plan
• “Voice” articles from various external subject matter experts, including a 2007 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, on critical issues facing our Company and the global community
These issues are increasingly important to our stakeholders, including our customers, investors and business partners. I encourage you to explore the report. 
Lastly, please feel free to help spread awareness of our company's sustainability efforts by sharing this report with your family, friends and across your social networks.
Thank you,

Robert Brown
Vice President
Sustainability, Environment & Safety Engineering ​

DEARBORN – Ford has cut the amount of energy used to make each vehicle 22 percent in the last six years with plans to reduce another 25 percent by 2016, the company says in a new report.

Decreased energy consumption is just one highlight of Ford’s 13th annual Sustainability Report – a comprehensive showcase of Ford’s efforts to tackle a myriad of sustainability challenges of a rapidly changing world. The report is titled, “Blueprint for Sustainability: Accelerating Ahead,” and can be found online here.

Other successful initiatives featured include reductions in water use, waste-to-landfill and CO2 emissions; and improved fuel economy and safety.

“Sustainability has moved from the periphery to the center of our strategy for succeeding in the marketplace and helping to address global challenges,” said Robert Brown, vice president, Sustainability, Environment and Safety Engineering.

This year’s report is the first one overseen by Brown – appointed to replace Sue Cischke following her retirement earlier this year.  Brown has been with Ford since 1979 and most recently served as vice president, Sustainability, Environment, and Safety Engineering at Ford of Europe.

Ford issued its first sustainability report in 1999 to address the company’s initiatives regarding social, economic and environmental issues. Like Ford’s sustainability-related processes and results, the report is evolving, too. New this year are sections highlighting Ford’s regional sustainability initiatives from places like Europe, South America and Asia; video commentary from Ford President and Chief Executive Officer Alan Mulally; and commentary from third party subject matter experts like Nobel Peace Prize Winner Dr. Rajendra K. Pachauri.

“Our sustainability report is far from a bunch of tables and charts,” said John Viera, global director, Sustainability and Vehicle Environmental Matters. “Anyone who spends any amount of time with it will truly get a sense of just how committed Ford is to supporting positive change and reducing the environmental impact of its products and facilities.”

Ford of Europe announced its five year sustainable manufacturing strategies across water, landfill waste and emissions at the beginning of 2012. The ambitious targets would see the average Ford vehicle using 30 percent less water and creating 70 percent less waste-to-landfill during the production stage within the next five years.      

Ford’s Cologne, Genk and Saarlouis plants are already waste-to-landfill free, with the remaining five manufacturing sites embarking on location-specific programmes to drastically reduce the four main waste areas of paint sludge, municipal wastes, grinding sludge and material filter material (which together total 80 percent of all waste) by as early as 2013. The aim is to reduce waste-to-landfill per vehicle from an average 5kg to 1.5kg.

The new water strategy is expected to see a 30 percent reduction in water use during production, the equivalent to 1,100 litres per vehicle, and could alone unlock savings of €2.3 m. The route to achieving this will be through continued metering and evaluation. This will contribute to Ford’s global target  to reduce water use per vehicle from 9.5m3 to 3.5m3 by 2015 (Europe’s target is 5m3 to 1.5m3).

Later in 2012, Ford of Europe will outline its strategy on energy use and purchasing. Performance highlights during 2011/12 include:

•Launched the first all-electric vehicle in Europe, the Transit Connect Electric.
•Launched the all-new 1.0 EcoBoost engine in the Focus, making the model Ford’s most fuel-efficient petrol car ever with CO2 emissions of 109g/km.
•Euro NCAP, Europe’s leading authority on auto safety, named the Focus the “Best in Class” small family car. In addition, the new Ranger is the first-ever pickup to receive the maximum 5 Star Euro NCAP rating.
•800 employees contributed 16 hours of their time, which was funded by Ford, to a variety of community projects delivering social, cultural or ecological benefits.
Globally, Ford is targeting a drop in energy consumption of 25 per cent between now and 2016. Each Ford facility utilizes a comprehensive set of measured environmental targets to track and accelerate improvements designed with the environment in mind. The targets are reviewed and updated annually.
In addition to the drop in energy consumption, Ford also:
•Reduced CO2 emissions from global operations in 2011 by 8 percent on a per-vehicle basis compared with 2010
•Turned what would have been 163 tons of waste paint into enough power for 55 residential homes for one year through just one of many new ways Ford is converting waste to energy
•Introduced advanced water-treatment technologies to allow the reuse of water and reduce water supply requirements, water discharges and use of treatment chemicals and the generation of solid waste
“Integration of our sustainability initiatives into the Ford Production System has enabled us to accelerate environmental improvements at our manufacturing facilities,” said Andy Hobbs, director, Environmental Quality Office. “This enables all members of the Ford manufacturing team to contribute to meeting our environmental targets.”
Ford vehicles are a major focal point of the company’s efforts to reduce environmental impact. For example, the seat fabric in most of Ford’s new or redesigned vehicles must now consist of at least 25 percent post-industrial or post-consumer recycled content. A total of 37 fabrics now meet the requirements and have been incorporated into Ford vehicles.
Because Ford affects such a broad range of stakeholders – employees, dealers, investors, communities – the sustainability report can’t ignore some of the ways Ford interacted with those parties in 2011, said David Berdish, manager, Social Sustainability.
For example, the report details how Ford revised its, “Code of Human Rights, Basic Working Conditions and Corporate Responsibility,” which applies to not only Ford itself, but its global supply chain. The code deals with subjects such as working hours and conditions, nondiscrimination and other health, safety and environmental issues. Nearly 400 suppliers around the world were trained in 2011 through Ford-led and joint industry programs.
“Reporting our progress on human rights and stories of our projects in the sustainability report is our primary source of communication regarding issues of social sustainability – and not just to media and customers,” said Berdish. “Investors are paying attention to working conditions, conflict minerals and trafficking more intensely and our suppliers need to be kept up-to-speed on all developments.”
To see more about the highlights above and much more, please read the entire report online here.



6/15/2012 7:00 AM