I read at least two or three CSR reports a month. When you read as many as I do, one that devotes a lengthy section to climate change stands out. In most reports, climate change is a sub-section tucked within the section on environment. It may get a few paragraphs, or maybe even a whole page. But Ford devoted an entire section to “Climate Change and the Environment.” Clearly, Ford takes climate change seriously.
Ford’s position on climate change is that reducing emissions “calls for an integrated approach — a partnership of all stakeholders, including the automotive industry, the fuel industry, government and consumers.” The company states that reducing emissions can “only be achieved by significantly and continuously reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions over a period of decades in all sectors of the economy.” For the transportation sector, that requires improving vehicle economy, developing lower carbon fuels, and working with the government on measures to encourage consumers to buy more fuel efficient vehicles and lower carbon fuels, according to the report.
Ford even has a long-term climate strategy to contribute to climate stabilization specifically, the strategy consists of the following:
- Continuously reducing GHG emissions and energy use of its operations
- Developing the flexibility and capability to market lower GHG emission products
- Working with industry partners, energy companies, consumer groups and policy makers to establish an effective and predictable market, policy and technological framework for reducing GHG emissions
Ford supports the Obama administration’s efforts to regulate of GHG emissions and fuel economy standards. However, the company believes that focusing on only one sector of the economy “will not enable us to achieve the necessary level of GHG reductions.” What Ford thinks is needed is an “economy-wide program” that allows “market mechanisms to determine where GHG reductions can be achieved at the lowest cost.”
Ford’s climate strategy is worked out through specific goals, and the vehicle manufacturer is on track to meet its environmental goals, including reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 30 percent per vehicle by 2025 compared to a 2010 baseline. The company already achieved a 31 percent reduction from 2000 to 2010, and its efforts to reduce carbon emissions per vehicle have been recognized. In 2012, Ford received a Goal-Setting Certificate at the Environmental Protection Agency’s Climate Leadership Awards Ceremony and Conference for its carbon dioxide strategy.
Ford has also reduced waste, improved fuel economy, and increased EcoBoost engines. From 2012 to 2013, Ford reduced waste sent to landfill by 14 percent per vehicle, and implemented a plan to reduce waste to sent to landfill by 40 percent per vehicle from 2011 to 2016. The company improved the fleet-average fuel economy of its U.S. car fleet by two percent and U.S. truck fleet by three percent from 2012 to 2013. By 2013, Ford surpassed its goal of producing 1.5 million EcoBoost engines globally by producing over two million.
Ford is proving to be a car company that has an eye on the environment. It will be interesting to see where its climate change strategy takes the company that sends American made vehicles down the highway.
Image courtesy of Ford Motor Co.