Sustainability 2011/12


Progress in Reducing Water Use

For more than a decade, Ford has been committed to decreasing our water use. We began our Global Water Management Initiative in 2000, setting a target of 3 percent year-over-year reductions. Between 2000 and 2011, we reduced our global water use by 60 percent, or approximately 10 billion gallons (see graphic below). That’s equivalent to the water used annually by 100,000 average U.S. residences, based on figures from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Over the same period, water use per vehicle decreased by 49 percent.

10 billion gallons of water is:

  • amount of water that flows over Niagara Falls in 3.7 hours
  • 1 billion five-minute showers*
  • over 15,000 Olympic pools*
  • 250 million loads of laundry**
  • 119 supertankers
  • * U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • ** California Energy Commission

In late 2011, we announced a goal to build on our water-reduction successes to date. We’re now aiming to cut the amount of water used to make each vehicle by 30 percent globally by 2015, compared to a 2009 baseline. This includes continuing to develop year-over-year efficiency targets as part of our annual environmental business planning process. For 2012, for example, we have set a target of a 5 percent water-use reduction per vehicle. If we meet our 30 percent reduction goal by 2015, we will have decreased the amount of water used to make a vehicle from approximately 9.8 cubic meters in 2000 to approximately 4.0 cubic meters in 2015.

We report on our progress toward this goal not only in this annual Sustainability Report, but through our participation in the Carbon Disclosure Project’s Water Disclosure, which we joined in 2010 – the first automaker to do so.

We’re aiming to make our vehicles more efficient, while making our own operations more efficient, too. Water remains one of our top environmental priorities, and our aggressive reduction target helps to ensure continued focus on this critical resource.

Global water use per vehicle produced