CHENNAI, India – With India’s emergence as one of Ford’s global manufacturing hubs for vehicles and engines, there is a greater need to outline and demonstrate the company’s clear sustainability roadmap for the future. This was the message emphasised by Susan M Cischke, group vice president, Sustainability, Environment and Safety Engineering (SE&S), during her recent visit to the Ford India plant.
"Ford will be reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to 450ppm (particles per million) by the year 2050,” she said. “The company has already embarked on a region-wise blueprint to bring about necessary changes to hit the CO2 target."
Cischke's tour to the APA region included stops in India and Australia. Her mission was to develop a greater understanding of the sustainability issues and challenges that local markets face, and to ascertain progress.
During her visit to the Maraimalainagar plant in Chennai, Cischke explained Ford's global vision for SE&S. She discussed the need to put in place better processes and highly trained personnel to achieve global sustainability objectives with the India leadership team.
Ford India’s senior management, led by president and managing director, Michael Boneham, presented Cischke with an overview of local market dynamics, the India Better Plan, and a guided tour of the manufacturing facility.
Speaking with local journalists, Cischke highlighted Ford's three-pronged approach to a sustainable future: to become a fuel economy leader in every car segment that Ford competes; to put in place a major vehicle weight-reduction project; and to embrace modern technology by introducing advanced electric and hybrid vehicles.
She also lauded Ford India's use of the ‘three wet paint' technology at the Chennai plant, a process that significantly reduces VOC emissions as well as energy-use.
"We will continue to actively encourage technology that makes us more sustainable," she told the journalists.
Cischke also took time to meet with women employees across three Ford entities in India at a meeting organised by the India Women's Forum. They told the Ford VP about several community development initiatives they are pursuing alongside the full-time responsibilities of their jobs, and outlined their objectives and future programmes.
Cischke advised the group to be to be open to change, take things with a sense of humour and maintain a high level of integrity. "It's wonderful to see you do so much – at work, for the community, and for each other," she said.
While visiting Australia, Cischke spent much of her time visiting the Product Development team. As in India, she conducted a "meet the VP" session with a group of female Ford Australia employees, the Network of Women. She also made herself available for interviews with the Australian media.
Cischke meets with the Network of Women, Ford Australia.
Cischke with employees from Ford's three entities in India.