Stakeholder Review of Report
For this Sustainability Report, as with our previous 11 reports, Ford agreed to work with a stakeholder team selected by Ceres to advise us. Ceres leads a national coalition of investors, environmental organizations and other public interest groups working with companies to address sustainability challenges.
The Ceres Stakeholder Committee, which was convened in March 2018, is an independent group of individuals drawn primarily from the Ceres coalition and representing a range of constituencies that have expertise in environmental, social and governance issues. Committee members provided feedback and recommendations associated with Ford’s assessment of the relative importance of financial, environmental, social and governance issues, and its sustainability performance and disclosure with respect to these issues.
As in previous dialogues, Ford was not expected to act upon all the stakeholder recommendations prior to publishing this Sustainability Report. Rather, stakeholders ask us to use these recommendations to help guide continuous, near-term progress.
Any aspects of these recommendations that were not responded to in this report will be included for consideration in our integrated sustainability work stream, considered for future action and reporting, and treated as an input to our materiality analysis process.
Recommendation: Fuel Economy and GHG Standards
Ford response: We work with numerous external partners to leverage our resources more effectively on key issues. As part of this approach, we belong to a broad range of partnerships, coalitions, industry groups and trade associations that advocate on behalf of their members for legislation and regulation. Our work with these partners helps us develop and promote policies that could have far-reaching benefits, not just for our company but for our industry and society as a whole.
On occasion, our views may not align with those of the associations to which we belong, and we always reserve the right to speak with our own voice and make our own stance clear.
Recommendation: Addressing Harassment and Gender-Based Discrimination
Ford response: Ford restated its full commitment to creating a workplace free of discrimination and harassment and the need to consider new management tactics with the company’s Human Resources team and Chief Diversity Officer (who currently reports to the Chief Human Resources Officer). Ford has taken several steps in the wake of public stories outlining the conditions at its Chicago manufacturing operations and the senior leadership team is keenly focused on this issue as well. Ford also noted ongoing conversations about an external advisory council with Michigan State University, which recently created a similar body. Ford is committed to a pay equity strategy, which was reviewed with the Board of Directors.
Recommendation: Accountability in Supply Chain Management
Ford response: Ford switched from internally developed audit systems to the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA) audit framework in 2016 (concurrent with the company joining the RBA as its first automobile manufacturer member), and thus did not have additional data to disclose in its most recent Sustainability Report. The company has since applied the new audit framework to a range of suppliers, including technology suppliers, interiors, and key raw commodities. In this report, Ford is publishing data and is able to disclose year-over-year information.
Recommendation: Operational Eco-Efficiency
Ford response: Ford knows there are several corporate campaigns that the company could take advantage of, but the company has to weigh where it will get maximum benefit for the resources invested. Additionally, Ford recognizes there are several opportunities for the company to disclose more information about the environmental impacts associated with specific materials and, more importantly, material substitutions.
Recommendation: Transportation Electrification
Ford response: Ford agrees that it has a role to play at each level of government to support policies and investments that will help grow the market for electric vehicles, particularly investments in charging infrastructure. Ford also noted several recent or continuing instances of relevant support, including:
- Being the first OEM to push for maintenance of the electric vehicle tax credit
- Not advocating against the Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) mandate while also talking with California about what ZEV looks like for medium and heavy-duty vehicles
- Working with Ionity (and a group of other OEMs including BMW and VW) on infrastructure development in the EU and actively looking for similar opportunities at the local level in the United States (e.g., in Lansing, MI)
- Contributing to a fund for the purpose of educating consumers on this and engaging with several New England states to identify additional opportunities to support market development, learning from and building on successful initiatives in other states
Recommendation: Renewable Energy Procurement
Ford response: We have met our 2025 goal of reducing emissions per vehicle produced by 30 percent relative to a 2010 baseline eight years early, achieving a 32 percent reduction. The company’s success was attributable in part to its use of renewable energy as well as energy conservation measures.