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Ford has been a leader in facilities-related greenhouse gas (GHG) and energy-use reductions, public reporting of our GHG emissions, and participation in GHG reduction and trading programs.

In 2010, we adopted a goal to reduce our facility carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 30 percent by 2025 on a per-vehicle basis. This CO2 goal, which is also based on our stabilization commitment, complements our longstanding facility energy use reduction targets.

GHG Reporting Initiatives

  • We were the first automaker to join The Climate Registry (TCR), a voluntary carbon disclosure project that links several state-sponsored GHG emissions-reporting efforts, including the California Climate Action Registry and the Eastern Climate Registry. As TCR members, we must demonstrate environmental stewardship by voluntarily committing to measure, independently verify and publicly report GHG emissions on an annual basis using the TCR’s General Reporting Protocol.
  • We were the first automaker to participate in GHG reporting initiatives in China, Australia, the Philippines and Mexico. Ford’s first report was used as the template for subsequent reporting in Mexico’s program.
  • We voluntarily report GHG emissions in the U.S. and Canada.
  • We were the first, and remain the only, automaker participating in the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX), North America’s first GHG emissions-reduction and trading program.
  • Since 2005, GHG emissions from our European manufacturing facilities have been regulated through the EU Emission Trading Scheme. These regulations apply to five Ford facilities in the UK, Belgium and Spain.
  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a final rule on September 22, 2009, establishing a national GHG reporting system. Facilities with production processes that fall into certain industrial source categories, or that contain boilers and process heaters and emit 25,000 or more metric tons per year of GHGs, are required to submit annual GHG emission reports to the EPA. Facilities subject to the rule were required to begin collecting data as of January 1, 2010, and to submit an annual report for calendar year 2010 by September 30, 2011. Many of our facilities in the U.S. will be required to submit reports. Our proactive approach and early action on GHG reporting globally has prepared us for this new requirement.
  • The World Resources Institute GHG Protocol is planning to use Ford’s China and South America GHG reports in their forthcoming training programs.

Our participation in these reporting, emissions-reduction and trading schemes has played an important role in accelerating our facilities’ GHG emissions reduction activities.


Ford reduced its 2010 global energy consumption by 40 percent compared to 2000 and energy consumption per vehicle produced by 5.6 percent compared to 2009. In 2010, overall global energy consumption increased by 6.6 percent compared to 2009, due primarily to a 13 percent increase in production volume. In 2010, Ford improved energy efficiency in its North American operations by 14.4 percent indexed against our 2006 baseline year. This energy efficiency index is adjusted for typical variances in production and weather and is tracked against the baseline year to measure cumulative improvements in energy efficiency.

We reduced our total facilities-related CO2 emissions by approximately 49 percent, or 4.8 million metric tons, from 2000 to 2010. During this same period, we reduced facilities-related CO2 emissions per vehicle by 30 percent. While total CO2 emissions increased by 13 percent from 2009 to 2010 due to increased production, per-vehicle emissions decreased by 5.6 percent. We set – and exceeded – a target to reduce our North American facility GHG emissions by 6 percent between 2000 and 2010 as part of our Chicago Climate Exchange commitment. This program ends in 2011. The Company has also committed to reduce U.S. facility emissions by 10 percent per vehicle produced between 2002 and 2012, as part of an Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers program.

Please see the environment data section for more detail.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) again recognized Ford’s energy-efficiency achievements by awarding us the 2011 Energy Star Partner of the Year Sustained Excellence Award, which recognizes Ford’s continued leadership and commitment to protecting the environment through energy efficiency. This is Ford’s sixth consecutive year winning this prestigious award. The Energy Star Partner of the Year award requires organizations to demonstrate proficiency through the management of projects and programs, data collection and analysis, and communication actions, including community outreach and active participation in Energy Star industry forums. The Sustained Excellence level is achieved by illustrating notably consistent actions and continued improvements. Among the achievements recognized by the award is a 40 percent improvement in the energy efficiency of Ford’s U.S. facilities since 2000, equivalent to the amount of energy consumed by 110,000 homes.

Energy Management Initiatives

Ford has achieved these efficiency improvements and energy use reductions by using a variety of initiatives, as described in this section. We regularly look for new technologies, approaches to the identification and definition of potential projects, funding mechanisms and means to implement plant energy-efficiency projects.

Since 2007, we have been using a utility metering and monitoring system to collect electricity and natural gas consumption data for all Ford plants in North America. We use this near-real-time information to create energy-use profiles for these plants and to improve decisions about nonproduction shutdowns and load shedding, which involves shutting down certain pre-arranged electric loads or devices when we reach an upper threshold of electric usage.

During 2010, we began planning to expand this system to a global scale and provide consumption data down to the departmental level. Linked with production and other data sets, this greatly enhanced near-real-time information has the following objectives:

  • Assist in driving improvements in operating and turndown performance by providing departmental detail
  • Allow plant-to-plant departmental comparisons
  • Assist in the identification of and verification of energy-reduction efforts
  • Provide common energy data metrics
  • Automate feeds to systems within Ford that require energy data
  • Reduce time to generate and obtain energy and environmental reports
  • Improve the accuracy of and compliance with carbon-reduction reporting
  • Improve energy performance dashboards and communication optimization.

Our Kansas City Assembly Plant will serve as a pilot site for this Global Departmental Level Metering (GDLM) effort.

Ford continues to use energy performance contracting as a financing tool to upgrade and replace infrastructure at its plants, commercial buildings and research facilities. Through these contracts, Ford partners with suppliers to replace inefficient equipment, funding the capital investment over time through energy savings. Projects have been implemented to upgrade lighting systems, paint-booth process equipment and compressed air systems, and to significantly reduce the use of steam in our manufacturing facilities. Since 2000, Ford has invested more than $226 million in plant and facility energy-efficiency upgrades.

During 2010 and 2011, for example, we packaged 40 buildings in the Dearborn, Michigan, area into a performance contract to upgrade to more-efficient lighting.

When complete, the project will reduce energy use by more than 18.2 million kilowatt-hours – enough to power 1,648 U.S. homes for a year. The project also will eliminate more than 11,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions and cut annual costs by more than $1.3 million. The project involves switching out and retrofitting more than 50,000 light fixtures in buildings across southeast Michigan. In Ford World Headquarters alone, more than 6,000 fixtures will be replaced. Other project features include:

  • Adding controls to optimize the use of daylighting
  • Replacing incandescent exit signs with LED exit signs
  • Controlling the lighting of unoccupied areas with occupancy sensors
  • Replacing incandescent and halogen lamps with compact fluorescent and LED lamps
  • Improved lighting quality, so that employees and visitors will enjoy better visual clarity and enhanced perceived brightness
  • Reducing ongoing maintenance costs.

In addition, we are replicating Ford’s state-of-the-art paint process that eliminates the need for a stand-alone primer application and curing oven system. This technology, called "Three-Wet," reduces CO2 emissions by up to 40 percent and volatile organic compound emissions by 10 percent compared to either conventional high-solids solvent-borne or waterborne systems. In addition to these environmental benefits, this process maintains industry-leading quality and reduces costs. For example, Three-Wet reduces paint processing time by 20 to 25 percent, which correlates to a significant cost reduction. The paint formulation contains new polymers and other additives to prevent running and sagging during the application and curing processes. Ford’s laboratory tests show that this high-solids, solvent-borne paint provides better long-term resistance to chips and scratches than water-borne paint systems. The process is delivering reduced costs per vehicle, because it allows the elimination of a stand-alone primer spray booth and oven, and the attendant energy costs required to run them.

We piloted a full-production enamel line using the Three-Wet process at the Ohio Assembly Plant, which started production in March 2007. In 2009, Ford installed the Three-Wet paint process at the Chennai plant in India and the Craiova plant in Romania. In March 2010, Three-Wet vehicle production began at the Cuautitlán Assembly Plant in Mexico, and in January 2011 it was implemented at the Michigan Assembly plant in Wayne, Michigan, which is now producing the all-new Ford Focus. We are currently installing the process at the new Chongqing and Nanjing plants in China, the assembly plant for Ford of Thailand and the newly updated Louisville Assembly Plant in Kentucky. We are continuing to evaluate additional plants for Three-Wet conversion, as refurbishment actions are being planned in line with the corporate business plan.

In 2010, Ford continued the evaluation of a new parts washing system developed in partnership with our supplier ABB Robotics. Conventional parts washing systems remove dirt chemically by spraying parts with high volumes of water and detergent at low pressure. This system, in contrast, cleans parts mechanically by moving them in front of specialized high-pressure nozzles with a robotic arm. This new robotics-based system represents a significant leap forward in energy efficiency that also improves quality, flexibility, productivity and cost. It saves energy in part because, unlike previous systems, it does not require any heat. It also uses a much smaller water pump. Forty-seven of these new robotic washing machines are now in operation at Ford, and we have incorporated the technology as standard for all engine and transmission final wash applications, ensuring that the energy and cost savings will be realized by all future vehicle programs. We intend to expand the use of this technology in future programs in North America. We have also implemented robotic parts washing at our Craiova and Cologne engine plants, and are pursuing the use of this technology in China, India and Brazil.

We have also developed a system, called “fumes to fuel,” that reduces the CO2 emissions associated with our paint shop emissions-treatment process. In traditional paint shop emissions treatment, the volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from solvent-based paints are captured and destroyed in a regenerative thermal oxidizer using natural gas as a fuel. In our “fumes-to-fuel” system, VOC emissions are super-concentrated approximately 2000:1. In this super-concentrated state, the VOCs themselves can be burned as fuel source, reducing the amount of natural gas necessary to destroy them. By reducing the need for natural gas, the fumes-to-fuel system has the potential to reduce CO2 emissions by 80 to 85 percent compared to traditional abatement equipment. We are also investigating opportunities to use the super-concentrated VOCs as a fuel source for both an internal combustion engine and a fuel cell, which could be used to provide additional power to the paint shop. For more information on the fumes-to-fuel system, please see the Facilities-Related Emissions section.

Other efforts to improve the energy efficiency of Ford’s plant operations include:

  • Aggressively curtailing energy use during nonproduction periods
  • Updating facility lighting systems by replacing inefficient high-intensity discharge fixtures with up-to-date fluorescent lights and control systems
  • Installing automated control systems on plant powerhouses and wastewater treatment equipment to increase energy and process efficiency.