Ford of Europe: Climate Change, Environment and Water

Ford is focused on minimizing the environmental impacts of our vehicles and operations, including reducing our contribution to climate change.

We are committed to doing our share to prevent or reduce the potential for environmental, economic and social harm due to climate change. We have a science-based strategy to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from our products and processes that focuses on doing our share to stabilize carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations in the atmosphere. We have also made a commitment to deliver the most fuel-efficient vehicles in every market in which we participate.

Ford of Europe continues to make significant strides toward our target of reducing CO2 emissions from all of our vehicles. By 2012, we had already reached an average CO2 emission level below 137 grams per kilometer (g/km), with 65 percent of our vehicles recording an average of around 121 g/km, or 5 g/km better than the target requested by European legislation for 2012.

EcoBoost Engines and ECOnetic Technology

In 2012 we introduced the new 1.0L EcoBoost® gasoline engine into Ford’s lineup, joining the 1.6L and 2.0L EcoBoost engines. The 1.0L EcoBoost was named “2012 International Engine of the Year” by a panel of 76 journalists from 35 countries.

EcoBoost engines use turbocharging and direct-injection technology to produce levels of performance that are usually associated with larger-capacity engines. The 1.0L EcoBoost, for example, offers the power of a traditional 1.6L gasoline engine but with a CO2 level as low as 109 g/km. This engine was launched in the Ford Focus in early 2012, making it the most fuel-efficient gasoline car ever offered by Ford of Europe. During 2012 the 1.0L EcoBoost was introduced in the C-MAX, the all-new B-MAX and the new Fiesta, achieving best-in-class CO2 levels in those vehicles’ individual segments.

We have also continued to expand the availability of our low-CO2 ECOnetic variants of our vehicle lineup. In 2012, for example, we launched Ford’s most fuel-efficient passenger car ever – the Ford Fiesta ECOnetic, offering fuel economy of 3.3L/100 km and with just 87 g/km of CO2. This model includes a range of Ford technology features, including revised gear ratios; a special aeropack to improve aerodynamics (comprising undershield wheel deflectors and low rolling resistance tires); a variable oil pump; a more efficient air conditioner, cooling fan and alternator; as well as friction and combustion improvements in the engine. It also features Auto Start-Stop, smart regenerative charging, EcoMode and a shift indicator light.

The Fiesta ECOnetic was joined later in 2012 by the Focus ECOnetic, which emits just 88 g/km of CO2. To reach this class-leading level, the Focus ECOnetic employs a specially calibrated 1.6L Duratorq TDCi diesel engine, combined with exclusive technologies like a lean NOx adsorbing trap and a water-cooled charge air cooler, as well as our Active Grille Shutter technology.


In the summer of 2013, Ford will add its first all-electric passenger car to the successful Focus lineup in Europe by introducing the Ford Focus Electric. In coming years, based on our success with electrified vehicles in North America, we will introduce further electrified vehicles in Europe, including the C-MAX Energi and the Mondeo Hybrid.

In the U.K., Ford continues to work with Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE), the London Borough of Hillingdon and the University of Strathclyde on the U.K.’s Ultra Low Carbon Vehicle Fleet Demonstration (UKLCVD). The UKLCVD is collecting data on the performance of a fleet of 25 Transit Connect Electric vehicles, which are being driven by a mix of fleet and private users.

In Germany, Ford is working with 11 other partners on the colognE-mobil program, using a fleet of electrified vehicles – including Focus Electrics and C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrids – to conduct road testing. This program is part of a much larger research effort in several German cities that is partly funded by the German government and involves multiple automakers, utility companies, universities and technology partners.

We believe these kinds of collaborative efforts across sectors are essential for ensuring customer-focused products that provide the right value. They also help to ensure that the infrastructure is in place to support these types of vehicles.

Sustainable Manufacturing

In early 2012, Ford of Europe announced our five-year sustainable manufacturing strategies for water, landfill waste and emissions. The ambitious targets embedded in these strategies would see the average Ford vehicle using 30 percent less water and creating 70 percent less waste to landfill in manufacturing over the next five years.

Our Cologne, Genk and Saarlouis plants have already achieved zero waste to landfill. The remaining five Ford-owned sites in Europe are embarking on location-specific programs to drastically reduce, by as early as 2013, the four main waste areas that make up approximately 80 percent of our waste: paint sludge, municipal waste, grinding sludge and material filter waste. Our aim is to reduce average waste to landfill per vehicle from 5 kg in 2011 to 1.5 kg by 2016.

Our new water strategy is expected to drive a 30 percent reduction in manufacturing water use, which is equivalent to 1,100 liters per vehicle and could alone save us €2.3 million. We will achieve this target primarily through continued metering and evaluation. Our global target is to reduce water use per vehicle from 9.5 m3 to 3.5 m3 by 2015. Ford of Europe will reduce water use per vehicle from 3.5 m3 to 2.4 m3 between 2011 and 2016.

In our operations, we have looked to new technologies, including a process known as “dry-machining” that lubricates cutting tools with a fine spray of oil, rather than the conventional “wet-machining” that required large amounts of metal-working fluids and water to cool and lubricate the tools. For a typical production line, dry-machining, also known as Minimum Quantity Lubrication (MQL) machining, can save more than 280,000 gallons of water per year. Our engine plant in Cologne, Germany, for example, decreased water use per engine by 50 percent from 2011 to 2012 by switching to the MQL process.

In late 2012, our European Parts and Distribution Centre in Cologne was fitted with a new photovoltaic solar panel installation by German energy provider RheinEnergie. The installation will feed 1,100 MWh of electricity into the power grid every year; enough to power 370 average Cologne households or 460 Focus Electric vehicles covering an annual 15,000 km each – the equivalent of 6.9 million kilometers of driving. RheinEnergie will offer new customers of the Ford Focus Electric – our first-ever zero-emissions passenger car – the chance to buy this green energy via special contract, helping drivers to maximize the environmental benefits of opting for a Ford battery electric vehicle and travel with no carbon footprint left behind.

Even before these solar panels were installed, Ford had already been using green energy at its sites around Cologne, including electricity from three hydropower plants in Norway and Sweden. The Niehl Plant and the Merkenich Technical Centre also use steam generated as a by-product of its co-generation power plant to supply its heating. Combined, these measures reduce annual CO2 emissions by 190,000 metric tons.

For a discussion of our global climate change impact and commitments, please see the Climate Change and the Environment section. For a discussion of our global commitment to water issues, please see the Water section.


Download Summary Report

Ford’s 2012/13 Sustainability Report is summarized in this 8-page downloadable document.

Visit our Downloads page for this report in full or as separate sections along with supplementary publications.