Operations > Waste Reduction > 

Taking Action to Cut Waste

We are using a variety of technologies and programs across our operations to ensure we generate less waste, turn waste streams into valuable resources and reduce the impact of packaging.

Our Waste-Reduction Efforts

In our global effort to reduce waste to landfill in line with our target, we’ve undertaken a selection of waste-reduction initiatives across our global operations. These include:

  • Reducing high volume waste streams such as wastewater treatment plant sludge and paint sludge
  • Focusing on sustainable waste management, particularly increasing the amount of recyclables that are recovered from trash
  • Focusing on reduction of single-use plastics

More Zero Waste to Landfill Sites

A total of 85 facilities around the world have now achieved Zero Waste to Landfill (ZWTL) status. These include:

  • All our manufacturing facilities in Canada and Mexico
  • All our European Blue Oval manufacturing facilities
  • The historical Ford Rouge Center, our largest ZWTL site, which avoids sending 14 million pounds of waste to landfill each year
  • Our North American World Headquarters in Dearborn (Michigan), Oakville (Ontario) and Santa Fe (Mexico), which divert 240,000 pounds of waste from landfill between them

Closing the Loop on Aluminum Recycling

To reduce waste and use resources more sustainably, we try to reuse materials where we can, a process known as “closed-loop recycling.”

For example, aluminum can be reused many times without loss of quality, requiring 95 percent less energy than producing new aluminum. We have aluminum recycling systems at our Dearborn and Buffalo stamping plants, and our Kentucky truck plant. As vehicle parts are stamped, scrap material is shredded, separated into four different grades of alloy, and sent for reprocessing.

Reducing the Impact of Packaging

Packaging is a key part of the automotive supply chain and plays an important role in ensuring that components reach our facilities in the right condition. Our standard range of packaging not only protects its contents but also maximizes payload during transportation and reduces cost. We always review the packaging of components and parts before we launch any new product, to find opportunities for improvement.

We continually work to share best practice between regions and drive improvements in packaging. Ford’s packaging guidelines require supplier-provided packaging to have a neutral or positive environmental footprint, achieved through zero waste to landfill and the use of 100 percent recycled, renewable or recyclable materials.

Using standardized containers makes packaging more transferable between suppliers and across programs. In many locations, we have contracts with packaging providers to collect and store the packaging for our suppliers. By forwarding it to where it is needed rather than needlessly returning it to the previous supplier, we have significantly reduced our overall transport impact.