Ford Motor Company is taking its commitment to reducing water consumption one step further at its global facilities and among its suppliers, according to the automaker’s 15th annual Sustainability Report. In 2013, The Blue Oval reduced per vehicle water use by 30 percent globally from a 2009 baseline, reaching its goal two years ahead of schedule. It plans to further cut water use by another 2 percent in 2014 as well as to set new long-term goals.
The automaker’s water reduction efforts stem from the belief that it is a human right to have clean, affordable drinking water, and access to sanitation.
“As Ford continues with its largest global expansion in more than 50 years, the company also recognizes that working in regions struggling with water scarcity will soon make water a costly commodity,” said John Fleming, executive vice president, Global Manufacturing and Labor Affairs for Ford Motor Company.
But the efforts also have an enticing business reason:
“From a business perspective, understanding future constraints and immediately reducing Ford’s water consumption makes sense”, added Fleming.
Back in April, the automaker’s President and CEO, Alan Mulally, endorsed the CEO Water Mandate in an effort to more clearly define its mission. Launched by the U.N. Secretary General in 2007, the private-public initiative requires participating companies to report their water management progress annually.
Later this year, Ford will begin asking high water-use suppliers and those working in water-stressed regions to voluntarily report water consumption. It will then work with the suppliers to achieve reductions with the hope of creating initiatives that can be mirrored by other suppliers globally, thereby helping Ford to significantly reduce its environmental footprint.
Since beginning to strategically work on improving its water impact globally in 2000 by setting year-over-year reduction targets as part of its Global Water Management Initiative, Ford has not only reached its water-use-per-vehicle goal two years ahead of schedule, but it also cut global water use by 61 percent, or over 10 billion gallons, between 2000 and 2013. The savings equate to 1 billion five-minute-long showers, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Notably, the total amount of water used around the globe at Ford facilities decreased from 64 million cubic meters per year to 25 million cubic meters.