Community Engagement and Investment
Engaging with and investing in communities is more than the right thing to do; it’s also smart business. Our global company is only as strong as the local communities in which our employees and customers live and work, so it is in our mutual interest that we work with communities to make meaningful contributions to improve quality of life.
For us, it is not just about donating money. It’s also about building partnerships and working with others to address the difficult challenges so many people are facing.
Our community support is aligned with our company goals and our One Ford plan. One of the key elements of One Ford is to build a better world, and so reaching out and providing assistance to our communities is an essential part of what we do.
In recent years, we have taken steps to develop a more integrated approach to managing the different dimensions of our community involvement. Our goal is to more closely connect our community relations programs, our community impact assessment processes and our key sustainability and business priorities such as human rights, access to water and driving safety. We also focus on helping communities meet basic needs (such as food and shelter), supporting development programs, aiding with emergency and disaster response, and assisting in improving educational opportunities.
Expanding Globally, Engaging Locally
Whether doing business in Michigan or Malaysia, we seek to respect and make a positive contribution to our host communities. As we expand our operations in emerging economies, however, we’re finding new community issues to understand and manage.
One of these issues is human rights. Specifically, we must ensure that our products, no matter where they are made, are manufactured under conditions that demonstrate respect for the people who make them. We also must respect the rights of people living in the communities around our facilities, as well as our suppliers’ facilities, who may be affected by those operations. We view respect for human rights not only as a core operational issue, but also a key to maintaining the trust and respect of local communities. For more information on how we manage human rights issues in our own operations see the Governance section; for information on how we address human rights in our supply chain, see the Supply Chain section.
As we expand into new markets in more water-stressed regions, we are also expanding our engagement with local communities on water issues. We have developed a comprehensive water strategy based on both environmental and social risks and opportunities in local communities where we operate. Over time, we also want to link all of these efforts with our development of new products and services to meet the unique mobility needs of communities in emerging markets. See the Mobility section for more on this topic.
Investing Locally across the Globe
In 2014, Ford contributed $45.6 million to community activities (over $8 million more than in 2013).
Of that amount, $30.2 million was in the form of grants awarded by the Ford Fund; the remainder was direct corporate giving.
As our business expands globally, we are also expanding all of our community investment and volunteering efforts internationally. We invest in communities in three primary ways: through direct corporate charitable giving; through our company’s community investment arm, the Ford Fund (formally known as Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services); and through the Ford Volunteer Corps, which organizes the volunteering efforts of thousands of Ford employees and retirees across our global operations. Our dealer network and Ford Motor Credit Company also make significant investments in their communities.
In 2014, we continued to expand our global reach through Ford’s Operation Better World, a coordinated, strategic approach to how Ford engages with communities everywhere that we do business. The Ford Fund launched this program in 2012 in three markets outside the U.S. By 2015, the program expanded to reach 39 markets around the world. Through Operation Better World, the Ford Fund seeks to drive sustainable community innovation by making strategic investments in four areas: education, auto safety, community needs and sustainability (with a focus on water). The Ford Fund works to ensure that Operation Better World investments meet local community needs, align with the One Ford business plan, have a measurable impact and, where possible, can be replicated in other markets. This grassroots engagement in the community is implemented and led by the local Ford teams in each region.