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Ford Expanding Environmental Stewardship Efforts by Sharing Best Practices with Suppliers

Tomorrow, at a forum of the G7 Alliance on Resource Efficiency in Washington, D.C., Ford Motor Company will highlight its new Partnership for A Cleaner Environment (PACE), a program that aims to help the automaker’s suppliers minimize their impact on the environment by sharing details of Ford’s best practices for water, energy and carbon dioxide reduction.

“We are committed to expanding our stewardship with our global suppliers to help minimize our environmental impact more broadly,” said Hau Thai-Tang, Ford group VP of global purchasing. “By sharing our practices and our processes at the G7 Alliance on Resource Efficiency workshop, we hope to foster innovation and collaboration to address sustainability-related issues and advance environmental responsibility.”

Ford has long been committed to reducing its impact on the environment, and its efforts have yielded proven results. Far more than an environmental concern, Ford views commodities such as water as a basic right for people everywhere – a resource that should be clean, affordable and accessible. In 2000, for example, Ford began setting year-over-year reduction targets with a global manufacturing goal of reducing water use per vehicle by 30 percent by 2015 using a 2009 baseline. Ford met its goal two years ahead of schedule and is now setting new long-term targets. The company’s water strategy aligns with the United Nations CEO Water Mandate – a private-public initiative launched by the secretary general of the organization in 2007, committing to a water management strategy and to publicly reporting on its progress annually.

Ford began testing PACE in 2014, and has expanded the program to include a total of 25 strategic suppliers representing 800 manufacturing sites in 41 countries. The automaker is transparent in sharing its best practices, and works to make tracking success easy by offering statistical analysis to help participants monitor progress toward goals. In return, suppliers share their environmental data and their best practices with Ford.

When asked if Ford has noticed improvements or reductions in its global footprint since instituting the PACE program, Senior Manager of Supply Chain Sustainability Mary Wroten said via email: "Not yet. Our suppliers have agreed to report their footprint to us each year with the first major reporting to occur by December. We are anticipating to see reductions based on how the program has helped our manufacturing facilities."

Lear Corporation, a leading global supplier of seating and electrical systems, participated in PACE last year. Based in Southeast Michigan, Lear operates in 240 locations in 36 countries, and employs 136,000 people.

“By implementing select best practices from Ford, Lear expects to realize cost savings at its facilities worldwide,” said Doug Andrews, Lear’s environmental sustainability manager. “But the true impact will be Lear’s contribution to helping protect the environment.”

Last month, Ford reaffirmed its commitment to supply chain sustainability by becoming the first automaker to join the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition, a nonprofit coalition of leading electronics companies dedicated to improving the social, environmental and ethical conditions of their global supply chains. The company said its first priority was to streamline its auditing process to eliminate duplicate audits at suppliers’ facilities, and to collaborate with the EICC on best practices and standards for improving social and environmental conditions globally. Ford also was recently named to the 2016 Ethisphere Institute list of World’s Most Ethical Companies® for the seventh consecutive year, and is the only automaker named to the list this year.


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