Supply chain transparency, management and engagement are crucial components to the transition towards a more sustainable business model and with a growing arsenal of tools and research at their disposal, it’s now easier than ever for brands to engage in transformative activities.
Having already established itself as an automotive industry leader, the **Ford Motor Company**has launched an enhanced version of its Partnership for a Cleaner Environment (PACE) program in an effort to reduce the environmental footprint of its supply chain. The program, which originally focused on water and energy conservation, has now grown to more than 40 suppliers in 40 countries and offers best practices for reducing waste, carbon dioxide and air emissions. Under the enhanced program, the company could reduce emissions by nearly 500,000 metric tons globally over the next five years — the equivalent of eliminating the carbon emissions of over 50,000 homes a year.
Last year, a second select group of suppliers were invited to join the voluntary program, bringing the number of participating companies to more than 40 in two years. PACE now has the potential to impact nearly 1,100 supplier sites in more than 40 countries.
With programs like PACE showing Ford’s commitment to sustainability and corporate citizenship, Ethisphere Institute has added the automaker to its list of the World’s Most Ethical Companies for the eighth year in a row.
“As a company, it’s important that we make quality products and minimize the impact on the environment by doing things the right way,” said Mary Wroten, senior manager of Ford Supply Chain Sustainability. “Having suppliers that want to share that responsibility shows we can work together to reduce our collective environmental footprint, while still continuing to deliver great products.”
As a part of PACE, Ford offers suppliers with a toolkit and best practices to help suppliers track and achieve their own sustainability goals across four categories: energy, water, air emissions and waste. Leading practices include optimizing cool tower operation, reducing compressed air usage in manufacturing operations and eliminating single-pass cooling systems. Also among Ford’s leading practices are Energy Treasure Hunts, which allow suppliers to use experts in their own facilities to identify additional opportunities to save resources.
In return, the suppliers report their environmental progress and share their own best practices to both Ford and their own suppliers. Already, participating suppliers are on track to save an estimated 550 million gallons of water over the next five years according to data collected in 2016.
One of Ford’s suppliers, DENSO, has been participating in PACE since its launch in 2014. So far, it has set targets for carbon-dioxide reductions in its manufacturing processes and is focusing on cutting back electricity and water use with highly efficient equipment, including a closed-circuit cooling system.
“We are serious about protecting lives and preserving the planet, and sharing best practices with Ford helps further that mission to sustain the environment globally,” said Jim Laney, DENSO senior manager of Safety, Health and Environment in North America.
PACE is just one portion of Ford’s supply chain sustainability strategy, which also includes initiatives on human rights, working conditions and conflict materials. The automaker is also the first in its industry to join the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition — a non-profit organization dedicated to improving social, environmental and ethical conditions in its members’ global supply chains.