With about 163,000 employees and about 70 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford, Lincoln and Mercury, they are actually being silent on how much they have saved in total manufacturing emissions. The Green Living Guy says let’s find out what they have done (FYI, I got NO MONEY from Ford to do this story!!!)
While in Detroit for the North American International Auto Show courtesy of Ford (travel, not compensation) we all met with Sue Cischke, Group Vice President of Sustainability, Environment and Safety Engineering. During her quick but poignant presentation, I was alarmed to see a certain graph (yeah, don’t start saying I’m a loser, but it just stood out like a sore thumb) that they cut emissions since 2003. After looking at the graph that looked something like this, it shows about a 22 Trillion BTU CUT in energy use.
Based on this number I believe it’s important to show some of the examples of how they cut energy use.
Solar Energy For Electric Cars
On the outside, a new 500-kilowatt solar panel system on their Michigan plant will be installed to help generate renewal energy for production of Ford’s all-new Focus and Focus Electric cars. Ten new electric vehicle charging stations on the property will be used to recharge the electric trucks that transport parts between adjacent facilities.
Michigan Assembly also will boast Michigan’s largest solar power generation system and several electric vehicle charging stations for greener, more sustainable manufacturing when installation is completed next year.
Ford is teaming with Detroit Edison and Xtreme Power to install the 500-kilowatt solar photovoltaic panel system. The system will be integrated with a 750-kilowatt energy storage facility that can store 2 million watt-hours of energy using batteries – enough to power 100 average Michigan homes for a year. A secondary, smaller solar energy system will be added at a later date to power lighting systems at Michigan Assembly. The combined systems are expected to result in projected energy cost savings of about $160,000 per year.
India Plants Even Save Energy
Both the car assembly and engine manufacturing facilities in Chennai, India have undergone a major expansion to establish Chennai as a major hub for the entire APA region. The facilities serve as the latest examples of Ford’s global manufacturing processes and have incorporated several new technologies for Ford and India. This plant has been benchmarked against other competitive facilities globally, as well as current volume manufacturers in the Indian market.
No where is this more evident than in the body and paint shop and assembly line. Sixty six robots have been added and a new “Three-Step-Wet –Solids” paint process applies a smooth, glossy finish without oven curing between coats. A first for India, the new process is environmentally-friendly and reduces volatile organic compounds by 20 percent.
Sustainability Probably Had A Lot To Do With Emission Reductions
For example, in the seat cushions.
Soy-based foams, which are used on more than 20 Ford vehicles, will be used inside the Focus Electric, with the cushions shaped from 8 percent soy-based content.
In addition, a material called Lignotock is behind the cloth on the door. Derived from 85 percent wood fibers, this lighter application results in a weight reduction and provides better sound-deadening benefits compared with conventional glass-reinforced thermal plastics.
“One of the more impactful things we are doing is finding a way to increase the use of recycled materials in resins. We have a strategy that specifies the use of a large quantity of post-consumer recycled material in a range of plastic applications,” said Carrie Majeske, product sustainability manager, Ford Motor Company. “Pop bottles and milk jugs eventually become part of components like underbody shields, wheel arch liners and air cleaner assemblies.”
By using more recycled content in resins, Ford can further reduce the amount of oil-based plastics in vehicles. This also cuts down on overall oil consumption. Applications of the post-consumer plastics also include carpets, roof lining and replacement bumpers.
Further Efforts To Go Green
According to Ford Motor Company since 2008 has sourced renewable electricity to cover the full electric power demand at its manufacturing plant in Cologne, Germany. Through this initiative, the company is reducing its CO2 emissions 190,000 tons per year. A lot but not enough.
Renewable or green power supplies ONLY 3 percent of Ford’s energy needs worldwide.
Stayed tuned. Ford is about to include this foam and expland to other renewable sources for their foam. Ford is researching using grape seed and sunflower oil. What will they think of next. I know..A great smart idea to cut our carbon footprint.
Source: Ford Motor Company
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