Operations > Energy and Emissions > 

Efficiency, Facilities and Land

Our activities and facilities have the potential to affect land use, nature and biodiversity, both directly and indirectly. We strive to make our operations as efficient and sustainable as possible, and have taken steps to improve biodiversity and wildlife habitat on our land.

Committed to Green Buildings

As a member of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and supporter of its industry-standard LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system, we are committed to green buildings in our operations, following the basic principles of resource and process efficiency, life cycle assessments, health and safety, and environmental performance.

We strive to implement a range of best practices in our new facilities, from advanced water-treatment and waste-reduction systems to energy-saving technologies.

Advanced Energy Infrastructure for Dearborn Campus

By 2020, our Research and Engineering Center on our Dearborn campus will be powered by a LEED-certified energy plant. Its highly efficient systems will consist of a gas-fired combined heat and power plant, advanced chiller technology, a thermal energy storage tank, and geothermal heating and cooling. In addition, a solar array could supply up to 4MW of electricity: enough to power more than 1,000 homes.

We currently operate 26 LEED-certified buildings around the world.

Efficiency: Lean Production in Action

A new $25 million investment for additional manufacturing enhancements brings Ford’s total investment at Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville to $925 million and allows the company to increase manufacturing line speed.

These investment and advanced manufacturing upgrades are examples of the company’s quest to improve its operational fitness. They include 400 new robots, a new 3D printer that enables workers to make parts and tools more quickly and cheaper as well as enhanced data analytics to keep the assembly line moving as efficiently as possible.

 Case Study

Seeing the Future: Make Way for Holograms

Ford designers and engineers have been using visualization software and “mixed reality” headsets to review 3D designs with colleagues around the world in real time. Piloting Microsoft HoloLens technology, we’re now able to explore shapes, sizes and textures in hours instead of the weeks and months needed to create clay models.

In our Dearborn studios, we have been trialing the technology, which allows our designers to see virtual design elements as if they were part of physical vehicles. It creates holograms in photo-quality backdrops, and can project design variations onto an actual car or clay model. This allows us to quickly evaluate the designs, make changes and determine styling options earlier in development.

Watch a short video of the system in action

HoloLens allows a whole team of people to collaborate, share and experience ideas together. Mixing virtual and physical models is exciting, because it helps our designers and engineers communicate effectively and ideate to see what the future looks like earlier in the process. This allows great freedom and efficiency in how prototypes are created or changed.”

Elizabeth Baron,Virtual Reality and Advanced Visualization Technical Specialist, Ford

 Case Study

The Birds and the Bees: Biodiversity and Sustainable Land Use

Promoting sustainable land use and improving the wildlife and biodiversity on the land around our facilities helps us do more than reduce our environmental footprint: it connects us with local communities.

For the last six years, we’ve been working on the Nashville GreenField Restoration project. A collaboration with Golder Associates and the Tennessee Environmental Council (TEC), GreenField Restoration turns the area around our old Glass Plant into a vibrant natural environment just five miles from downtown Nashville.

The GreenField Restoration project goes far beyond traditional compliance. With help from a diverse range of community partners, it includes reforestation, grassland and prairie reestablishment, creating a solar-powered rainwater irrigation system, developing a tree nursery and certified arboretum trail with 30 native tree species, as well as extensive bird and pollinator habitats. The site’s natural vibrancy also makes it an ideal outdoor classroom for local students.

Our community partners have included STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) students from Vanderbilt College, representatives from local companies, Eagle Scouts and members of community organizations. Together, we’ve already made a vibrant green space just outside the city, where increasing numbers of birds, bees and butterflies are coming to live.