Ford Aims to Reduce Carbon Footprint of its Global Supply Chain

The company will work with 35 suppliers, representing close to 30% of Ford's $65 billion in annual procurement, to review their energy use and GHG emissions.

Ford Motor Co. announced on May 20 its plans to survey 35 top global suppliers on their energy use and estimated greenhouse gas emissions.

The company said its goal is to better understand the carbon footprint of its supply chain and use the data to eventually create a broad-based carbon management approach for its supply chain. The 35 suppliers represent close to 30% of Ford's $65 billion in annual procurement spending.

"Suppliers play an important role as we look to reduce our overall carbon footprint and drive more efficiency in an energy constrained world," said Tony Brown, Ford group vice president, Global Purchasing. "This initiative builds on our leadership in collaborating with suppliers and gives them a way to participate in solving an issue that faces our entire industry."

Any reductions by suppliers would be in addition to Ford's own goal of reducing greenhouse gases 30% by 2020 from the company's 2006 model year baseline.

The suppliers in the initial request include companies that make commodities such as seats, steering systems, tires and metal components, which require more energy to produce and thus have a larger carbon footprint. While many of these suppliers already measure their greenhouse gas emissions, the project would facilitate collaboration and sharing of processes and practices that can drive significant emissions reductions and help meet future regulatory requirements.

Several of Ford's top suppliers are already working to better understand their carbon emissions, including DuPont, TRW Automotive Holdings Corp., Bosch and Johnson Controls.

Johnson Controls, which supplies seats, interiors, electronics and batteries to Ford, is also working with the Carbon Disclosure Project and has goals in place to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. "As a company, we are committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2018, and are doing so through efficient manufacturing processes and the development of eco-friendly products," said Randy Leslie, general manager of the Ford Business Unit for Johnson Controls. The company also has a rating system that enables it to measure the sustainability activity of its own supply base.

As part of Ford's efforts to create a broad-based carbon management approach for its supply chain, they will share feedback from their data collection process with World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).

Ford is also working with the Automotive Industry Action Group in developing guidelines for measuring supplier emissions. It is the intent of Ford to share their experience in measurement and reporting of corporate and supply chain emissions with the industry group in order to lead the industry to consistent and comparable emissions estimation methods.

For additional information see the company's "Blueprint for Sustainability" at www.ford.com/go/sustainability.

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