In Europe, Ford is already using 100 percent renewable electricity to power the UK, Craiova, and Cologne plants, including vehicle assembly and engine plants. Ford expects Europe to be one of the first regions in the world to become carbon-neutral.
In November last year, Ford of Europe also responded to the call on businesses, governments and organizations to jointly develop a strategy for a sustainable Europe in 2030. Initiated by CSR Europe, the European corporate network for corporate sustainability and responsibility, the call was endorsed by 380 CEOs in 24 European countries, including Stuart Rowley, President, Ford of Europe.
The company had previously announced that it would only use locally sourced electricity from renewable energy sources for all of its production sites worldwide by 2035, including hydropower, geothermal energy, wind and solar energy. In order to achieve CO 2 neutrality, Ford will initially focus on three key areas that account for around 95 percent of the company’s CO 2 emissions: vehicle use, general supply and the operation of factory facilities such as buildings.
Ford has set itself the goal of climate neutrality by 2050, taking into account numerous challenges such as customer acceptance, official regulations, economic conditions and the availability of renewable, climate-neutral electricity and sustainable fuels.
“We can design and manufacture great vehicles, grow a strong company while protecting our planet – in fact, these goals complement each other,” said Bob Holycross, vice president, chief sustainability, environment and safety officer. “We don’t have all the answers yet, but we are committed to working with our global and local partners to make our plans come true.”
Ford’s emission targets have been broken down into three areas by the Science Based Targets initiative. The first area deals with direct emissions from company-owned or controlled sources, while the second area looks at indirect emissions from purchased energy, such as for heating or cooling. The third area deals, among other things, with emissions that can be attributed to the supply chain and the CO 2 emissions of Ford vehicles sold.
The 2050 commitment means that environmental issues are a top priority at Ford. It wasn’t until 2019 that the company expanded its climate strategy to find more effective ways to integrate the desires and needs of people and companies, as well as the possibilities of technology through the application of human-centered design. An interdisciplinary Ford team from around the world – including the United States, Europe and China – developed the company’s climate-neutral approach after analyzing information about the environment, customers, technology, legislation, energy, competitive approaches, products and trends.
Coping with climate change is a key responsibility and a strategic task for the car manufacturer Ford. Above all, this includes limiting global temperature increases in line with the Paris Agreement. Mindy Lubber, CEO and President of Ceres Nonprofit, welcomed this long-term goal and encouraged other large companies to follow Ford’s lead.
“We congratulate Ford on its commitment to be carbon neutral by 2050,” said Lubber.
“Ford recognizes the urgency to tackle climate change. We also urge other corporations to take appropriate measures and commit themselves to science-based sustainability goals.”
Ford will invest more than $ 1.5 billion in electric vehicles by 2022 and plans to offer at least one electrified version in Europe in every car product line. The manufacturer plans to increase its range of electrified vehicles to 18 models by the end of 2021, including mild hybrid, full hybrid, plug-in hybrid and fully electric vehicles.
Other highlights of this year’s Ford sustainability report
In addition to the goal of climate neutrality and the company’s progress, the sustainability report also highlights global sustainability activities:
Corona virus – ensuring human safety
Both health and safety of the workforce play a central role at Ford, and the corona pandemic has created new challenges for the company. Production facilities were closed at an early stage and many employees were able to work from home. Programs to support the physical and mental health of employees have also been introduced. The company also used its design expertise and manufacturing capabilities to help provide ventilators and personal protective equipment.
The company launched the Ford Mustang Mach-E at the beginning of the year, a fully electric Mustang SUV that will be launched in Europe early next year. According to WLTP, the power consumption of the new Ford Mustang Mach-E is between 18.1 and 16.5 kWh / 100 km (combined) *. In relation to the “Extended Range” battery, this means a range of up to 600 kilometers before the vehicle has to be recharged. The “Standard Range” battery has a storage capacity of 75 kWh and offers a range according to WLTP of up to 450 kilometers. In addition, Ford significantly accelerated its plans to further electrify the vehicle fleet in 2019.
The recycling of residues (“upcycling”) has been an important focus for Ford for more than a decade. Recycling was at the center of attention when the company announced in 2019 in the United States that it would use the residues from coffee production to manufacture vehicle parts. This sustainable innovation will not only reduce the consumption of petroleum for the manufacture of such components, but also reduce the weight of these parts by 20 percent and reduce the energy requirement during the molding process by up to 25 percent.
Ford has been converting waste by-products into biomaterials for vehicle parts for years. A few years ago, for example, soy foam was introduced as an alternative to petroleum-based seat foam. Since then, more than 25 million vehicles have been produced that have saved a lot of CO 2 that would otherwise have been released into the atmosphere.
Diversity and inclusion
In line with its commitment to diversity and inclusion, Ford signed the United Nations’ principles for strengthening the role of women in February 2020. For the second year in a row, the company reached a top position in the Bloomberg Gender Equality Index and received the best possible value of 100 in the 2019 Disability Equality Index®.
The company’s sustainability report also deals with the issue of social injustice – the weight of which falls disproportionately on the African-American community and can no longer remain silent about society and companies. Ford addresses this issue in-house, particularly in the United States. There are no simple solutions to longstanding systemic problems. However, Ford strives to listen, learn and contribute to solutions that improve the company and society.
The full Ford Sustainability Report 2020 is available here.