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The issue of sustainability is a relatively new development in human history. Before the industrial revolution, resources were ample, and the idea of pollution was nearly nonexistent. However, once manufacturing was developed the need for raw materials increased exponentially. At first this was not such a huge problem, but over time the resources depleted. Fast forward to the present and you will realize that the need for sustainability is immense. Unlike companies of the past, those of the modern day are much more cognizant of this. A prime example of this is the Ford Motor Company.
As a fortune 100 company along with being one of the leaders in vehicle production, Ford has great influence. This company has used its colossal influence as “A Force For Good”. Ford ensures that all the materials used to build their vehicles were “sourced responsibly”. This promotes sustainable harvesting of crucial natural resources and shows effort to preserve the availability of them for future generations. The foresight of this company along with the action taken by it has landed them on the “Top 100 Conflict Minerals Influence Leaders” list for a third year in a row (FSR). The list recognizes the companies that are committed to using materials which were produced reliably and legitimately.
Another major point of sustainability in the modern day is pollution. Climate change has been documented with increased global temperatures. The reason why this is happening is due to the production of greenhouse gases. When gases like carbon dioxide and methane are released into the atmosphere, they begin to insulate the Earth’s surface. The impact of the increased temperatures will begin to be felt across the world if this continues. Major producers of carbon dioxide are cars that are powered by combustion engines.
The Ford Motor Company has realized this and put together a plan to reduce the carbon footprint of their products. They have already reduced the carbon dioxide output of their new vehicles, but they have more in store. The Eco-boost engines that they make produce less pollution when compared to previous models. The efficiency of these engines is fully embraced by the company. They can be found in various vehicle models, ranging from the Mustang to the F-150. Ford has also invested $11 billion into producing electric vehicles. They have also pledged to produce 40 different models of hybrids or fully electric cars by 2022 (FSR).
The Ford Motor Company is also a founding member of IONITY, a joint effort between multiple big car manufacturers. Their plan is to have built 400 electric car charging locations across Europe by 2020 (media.ford.com). Ford declared in 2010 that it would reduce the company’s greenhouse emissions due to manufacturing by “30 percent per vehicle by 2025”. The company ended up completing this goal by 2017 (media.ford.com), which is a sign of major progress. The reduction in emissions was equivalent to “728,000 passenger vehicles driven for one year” (media.ford.com). This shows that they are devoted to reducing emissions for the sake of those who will inherit the Earth.
Recycling is another major process used to maintain sustainability. The ability to take something that has been previously manufactured and turn it into something different reduces waste. Ford has embraced this with its production of the Escape and Focus. Both of these models are 80% recyclable. Considering that these are two of the cheapest, and most widespread vehicles built by the company, this will have a huge impact once they inevitably end up in a scrap yard. Ford also uses “sustainable fabrics” in all of its vehicles (www.smartcitiesdive.com). Not even the paint fumes at the Michigan plant go to waste. The gases are recycled and used as fuel for production. Ford’s manufacturing plants use geothermal cooling systems. This is a completely sustainable process. It also reduces the amount of power the plants would need for alternative cooling systems.
Ford does not only look to sustain raw materials, though. They are also determined to conserve the most important natural resource, fresh water. Even though fresh water isn’t a problem for us in the United States, Ford has plants in much poorer and less fortunate countries. These places include Mexico, India, and South Africa. Water is needed to produce paint, and these plants need a lot of it. This is a problem in these areas due to the lack of available water. After using the amount of water, they had originally deemed necessary, Ford saw the damage it was doing to the local environment. In response to the subject, the company drastically reduced its water use. Ford has reduced its “operational water use” by 62.5% since the year 2000. This saved 10.4 billion gallons of water (FSR).
In 2017, Ford continued its dedication to this plan and reduced the water use by another 2%. Ford has established itself as a global leader in both innovation and sustainability. The company has done this by constantly evolving, setting goals that benefit the future of our planet, and by going above and beyond to complete those goals. Their management of the materials that they use, increased recyclability of their products, and reduction of water usage has put them head and shoulders above most. The care they have for the Earth and the next generation that will receive it is truly remarkable. By running their company with responsibility and integrity as focal points, Ford truly has become a “Force For Good”.
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