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Climate Change and the Environment

Green Buildings

Ford is a leader in green building and is committed to the sustainable design of our facilities and landscapes using the basic principles of resource effectiveness, life cycle assessment, health, safety and environmental performance. In the past, we have included green building design principles into our buildings on a case-by-case basis. To help standardize and broaden our efforts in this area, we are currently developing corporate specifications for building new facilities that will focus on sustainability. These specifications require that new manufacturing facilities be designed and constructed using the best practices Ford has developed at plants all over the world. These standards will act to replicate best practices across our global operations, and create efficient and sustainable plants. We are coordinating this effort through our Global Facilities Forum, described in the Facilitating and Measuring Progress section. Some examples of best engineering practices that may be implemented in our new facilities include:

  • Advanced water-treatment technologies, to allow the reuse of water and reduce water-supply requirements, water discharges, use of treatment chemicals and the generation of solid waste;
  • Energy-saving technologies, such as advanced control of air compressors, high-efficiency lights, variable-drive electric motors, skylights and daylighting, and white roofing materials; and
  • Advanced paint shop technologies, to reduce emissions, energy use and waste, including wet- on-wet paint and advanced automated paint application equipment.

Ford is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and a supporter of its green building rating system, known as LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). The LEED system includes a series of standards used for certifying buildings as Silver, Gold or Platinum, and it is recognized as the industry standard for green building. Ford employees who are involved in the design, operation and maintenance of commercial and manufacturing facilities have obtained LEED Accredited Professional certification, which demonstrates their proficiency in the application of the LEED rating systems. Having this expertise in-house will continue to strengthen our knowledge and the speed at which we apply environmentally sustainable technologies and processes at our facilities.

Ford is evaluating existing buildings to achieve LEED certification. The LEED v3 Green Buildings, Operations and Maintenance rating system, or LEED GBOM, helps building operators measure operations, improvements and maintenance on a consistent scale, with the goal of maximizing operational efficiency while minimizing environmental impacts. The standards are intended to promote healthy and environmentally friendly buildings that are also durable, affordable and high-performing by focusing on six key areas: sustainable site management, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere impacts, materials and resource use, indoor environmental quality and innovations in operations.

Ford piloted the LEED Existing Building (LEED-EB) certification process on Corporate Crossings, an office building that Ford developed in 1999 in Dearborn, Michigan. In 2011 we achieved LEED-EB Silver Certification for this building, the first Ford Motor Company building certified under the LEED-EB program. We are now in the process of seeking LEED Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance (LEED-EBOM) certification for our Research and Innovation Center (RIC) in Dearborn. In March 2013, RIC entered the “performance period” of the certification process. During this period, actual building performance is measured for at least three months, after all of the changes we are making to the building and its operation to obtain certification credits are implemented. These changes include energy-efficiency technology upgrades, operational policies and staff training. We hope to have the RIC facility LEED-EBOM certified in 2014.

Based on these experiences, Ford is planning to seek certification of the balance of our portfolio of commercial office buildings through the USGBC’s LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance Volume Program. We are initially working to certify 25 buildings in Dearborn, Michigan, through this program. We hope to complete this certification process in 2015. The LEED Volume Program was designed by the USGBC to meet industry needs for a streamlined approach to certifying similar buildings and spaces. The program, through the use of prototype standards, allows organizations to simplify the LEED documentation for multiple buildings or spaces of a similar type or management.

Our goal is to assure that the green building practices, procedures, policies and initiatives we have already developed will meet USGBC LEED-EB standards and help create a comprehensive sustainability program for our portfolio of commercial office buildings.

Ford is also working to advance green building practices through partnerships with our building-related service providers. These partnerships help to educate service providers and provide a forum to exchange information on the concepts of sustainable design. For example, we have held training sessions on site selection, water efficiency, energy-use reductions, sustainable materials and resources, and indoor environmental quality.

We are also working with our dealers to help them improve the environmental performance of their facilities. For more information on our work to help “green” Ford and Lincoln dealerships, please see below and the Dealers section.

Some examples of Ford’s green building projects include:

Ford World Headquarters Green Roof – Dearborn, Michigan

In 2012, we refurbished a portion of the roof on our corporate world headquarters building in Dearborn, Michigan. As part of this effort, we installed 5,000 square feet of green roof on the building. This “living roof,” which is made from multiple varieties of sedum plants, helps to reduce stormwater runoff from the building.

Ford World Headquarters Green Roof - Dearborn, Michigan

Ford World Headquarters Green Roof – Dearborn, Michigan

Green Dealership – Dagenham Motors, Barking, United Kingdom

Ford’s Dagenham Motors dealership in Barking, England, recently built an all-new “green” dealership using the latest environmentally friendly materials and a number of sustainable and energy-saving features. The facility includes new and used car showrooms and a service center.

Water use at the facility is reduced by capturing rainwater runoff from the roof and storing it in a 3,500-gallon underground tank that supplies water for washing cars and flushing toilets. The rainwater-harvesting tank includes a UV sterilization unit, and inline contaminate and particulate filters that enable the water to be suitable and hygienic for hand washing. In addition, waste oil from cars that have been serviced is reused for heating the premises by fueling an integrated used-oil burner on the site. In addition, a wind turbine was installed to generate up to 10 percent of the site’s electricity, and the facility used green construction practices. Approximately 1,800 square meters of non-hazardous soil that was excavated from the site during construction will be reused to landscape the site rather than being transported to landfill.

Green Housekeeping Program

Ford promotes the use of environmentally friendly products in the operation and maintenance of its facilities. One example of this is the continued expansion of our “green housekeeping” program. Through this program, we are working with our Tier 1 suppliers and contractors to promote the use of environmentally friendly cleaning practices and water-based products that help to reduce the impact of facility operations on the environment. Our cleaning service providers use highly concentrated, water-based chemicals with more efficient packaging, which significantly reduces product waste and the amount of fuel required to ship products. These green housekeeping practices are now in use throughout our North American manufacturing locations and commercial office buildings.

Ford Rouge Center

Ford’s largest green-building initiative was the redevelopment of the 600-acre Ford Rouge Center in Dearborn, Michigan, into a state-of-the-art lean, flexible and sustainable manufacturing center. The focal point of the center, the Dearborn Truck Plant, boasts a 10.4-acre living roof, part of an extensive stormwater management system that includes bioswales and porous pavement to slow and cleanse the water. The Dearborn Truck Plant also features abundant skylights to maximize daylight in the facility. And, the Rouge Center features 100 acres of sustainable landscaping to help restore soils and support wildlife habitat.

Corporate Crossing (LEED-EB)

In 2011 we achieved LEED Existing Building certification for our Corporate Crossing office building, located in Dearborn, Michigan. This is the first Ford facility to achieve this LEED rating.

Rouge Visitor Center (LEED-Gold)

The redeveloped Ford Rouge Center includes the LEED-Gold certified Rouge Visitor Center, a 30,000-square-foot facility featuring two multiscreen theaters and an observation deck. The facility captures rainwater for plumbing and irrigation, and uses photovoltaic-solar panels to produce energy. In addition, “green screens” of shading vines cover some parts of the building to reduce energy use.

Fairlane Green (LEED-Gold)

Ford has developed a 1-million-square-foot green retail center on its 243-acre industrial waste landfill in Allen Park, Michigan, earning the national Phoenix Award for excellence in brownfield development. In addition, Fairlane Green Phase I received the nation’s first LEED-Gold certification for a core and shell retail development, for its use of retention ponds for irrigation, sustainable landscaping and white roofs, and for the preservation of natural areas. The buildings feature high-efficiency heating and cooling systems, added insulation and weather sealing, and efficient windows and doors.

Product Review Center (LEED-Silver)

Ford’s Product Review Center in Dearborn showcases Ford’s latest products and green building principles. The LEED-Silver-certified building incorporates an innovative system to recycle water for irrigation and cooling, large windows to maximize daylight and extensive use of local and recycled materials.