Sustainability 2011/12

Climate Change and the Environment

Waste Management

Ford’s environmental goals include reducing the amount and toxicity of manufacturing-related wastes and ultimately eliminating the disposal of waste in landfills. Manufacturing byproducts include both hazardous and nonhazardous wastes. Ford has chosen to target eliminating the landfill of hazardous waste first, because this provides the quickest and most cost-effective benefits to human health and the environment.

In 2011, Ford facilities globally sent approximately 56,000 metric tons of waste to landfill, a reduction of 11.3 percent from 2010. Ford has reduced waste to landfill on a per-vehicle basis by almost 40 percent over the last five years, which reflects our continuing efforts to reduce the amount of landfilled waste associated with vehicle production. In 2011, Ford facilities globally generated approximately 42,000 metric tons of hazardous waste, which is comparable to our 2010 hazardous waste generation levels. We reduced hazardous waste on a per-vehicle basis by 10 percent from 2010 and by 16 percent over the last five years.

The following Ford facilities have achieved zero waste to landfill: the Rawsonville Plant in Michigan; the Cologne, Germany, manufacturing facilities, including the Engine and Vehicle Operations plants, Technology Development Center and Ford Customer Service Division facility; the Saarlouis Body and Assembly Plant in Germany; the Genk Assembly Plant in Belgium; the Chennai Assembly and Engine Plants in India; the Lio Ho Plant in Taiwan; and the JMC Assembly Plant in Nanchang, China.

Our European operations have committed to significantly increase the proportion of waste recycled and reused and to cut landfill waste by 70 percent. That means a reduction in the average landfill waste generated per vehicle to 1.5 kg by 2016 from 5 kg in 2011. This reduction will be on top of the 40 percent reduction in landfill waste Ford of Europe has already achieved since 2007.

We are always seeking ways to further reduce waste throughout our operations. In some cases, we are even able to turn waste directly into a new fuel source. For example, we have developed a Recovered Paint Solids Program through which we collect waste paint, or “overspray,” from our paint booths and turn it into a fuel used by local utilities to generate electricity. Using this process, we have recycled 163 tons of paint waste from our Ford Auto Alliance Plant in Flat Rock, Michigan, since early 2010. An estimated 163,000 KWh of energy – enough energy to power 20 residential homes for a year – were produced as a direct result of this program. At the Chicago Assembly Plant and the Michigan Assembly Plant, approximately 174 tons of paint solids were eliminated from landfill and processed as a fuel source in 2011.

In 2012, we installed a solar-powered trash compactor at our Michigan Proving Grounds in Romeo, Michigan. The new solar compactor provides the energy to compress the general waste from the facility into a 42-yard container by an increased capacity of 4:1 compared to the open-top boxes that were previously used. The trash is then sent to an incinerator in southeast Michigan where it is converted into power for the local area residents. The combination of the improved trash compactor and our recent efforts to recycle all of the site’s cardboard, paper, wood and plastic, eliminates the need for the Michigan Proving Grounds to dispose of any waste in a landfill.