Ford Motor Co. has announced that it will require ISO 14001 certification from all of its suppliers with manufacturing facilities. ISO 14001 is an environmental standard under which independent auditors evaluate environmental processes and system performance. Ford is requiring suppliers to certify at least one manufacturing site to ISO 14001 by the end of 2001 and all manufacturing sites shipping products to Ford by July 1, 2003. The requirement affects about 5,000 of Ford's production and nonproduction suppliers. Ford decided to require certification after it surveyed its top suppliers earlier this year about their environmental policies and programs. "This requirement reinforces Ford's commitment to the environment," says Carlos Mazzorin, group vice president of purchasing and Ford of Mexico. "We have extended that commitment to thousands of other companies -- exponentially increasing the benefits of this rigorous environmental certification." The requirement follows Ford's Dec. 1998 announcement that it is the first automotive company to certify all of its own plants -- 140 facilities in 26 countries -- under 14001.