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Ford Unveils Latest Sustainability Report, South African Pilot to Deliver Medical, Nutrition Services

Image credit: Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company’s 2015-16 Sustainability Report highlights key environmental benchmarks and the ongoing work of the automaker, including its expanded focus beyond vehicle production to developing mobility solutions for the future.

The future of mobility

Earlier this year, the automaker created Ford Smart Mobility LLC, a new subsidiary to design, build, grow and invest in emerging mobility services using existing Ford innovations, products and technologies.

Examples include FordPass®, a consumer experience platform that launched in April, which will offer such services as remote vehicle access through a smartphone app, and mobility solutions such as parking and car sharing.

Ford is collaborating with startups and tech companies to design and build mobility services. Early this month, Ford and Techstars Mobility, driven by Detroit introduced its 2016 class of startup businesses that will develop future mobility solutions. Launched in 2015, the mentorship-driven accelerator program supports a dozen startups annually that are working on ride-sharing services and technologies, improving the car-ownership experience, and safety and autonomous-driving technologies.

Ford is also experimenting around the globe to solve some of the most complex mobility issues of the future. In the past 16 months, the company has conducted more than 30 global mobility experiments to gain insight into changing consumer transportation preferences. Several ongoing pilot programs include GoPark, which is building a predictive parking system in London capable of directing drivers to streets where they are most likely to find a space; also in London is GoDrive, a car-sharing program that provides vehicles with guaranteed parking at busy locations. At the Ford World Headquarters campus in Dearborn, the Dynamic Shuttle program allows employees and visitors to summon point-to-point rides on-demand.

The automaker also announced an expansion of its research and development for electrified vehicles in Europe and Asia. Investing $4.5 billion, the automaker plans to add 13 electrified vehicles to its portfolio, making 40 percent of its nameplates electrified products by 2020. Ford will also spend $2.1 million on a state-of-the-art facility at the University of Michigan to boost research and development of advanced battery technology. 

Continued improvement

The 2015-16 Sustainability Report also highlights continued progress in Ford’s commitment to operate responsibly and with respect to its customers, employees, communities and the planet:

  • Water use: When Ford met its 2015 global goal to reduce water use per vehicle produced by 30 percent (compared to 2009) two years early, it set a new goal to reduce water use by a further 2 percent in 2015, which it exceeded with a reduction of 5 percent. This year, the automaker says it continues to review its water strategy to ensure it is aligned with the global and company context, and has made progress in setting a new long-term reduction goal. Ford is the only North American company to earn the CDP “A” grade for its disclosure and performance around water.
  • CO2 emissions per vehicle produced: Ford reports a 27 percent reduction, 2010 to 2015 – well on its way to its goal of 30 percent reduction by 2025.
  • Waste to landfills: In 2015, six manufacturing facilities and 29 non-manufacturing facilities achieved zero-waste-to-landfill status, for a total of 63 worldwide. Ford says its global goal was to reduce waste to landfill by 40 percent per vehicle produced between 2011 and 2016; as of 2015, the company reports a reduction of 54 percent, but makes no mention of a new goal in this area.

Ford is also working to manage its external impacts by sharing best practices with its strategic suppliers: Earlier this month, the company won the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council award for its Partnership for A Cleaner Environment program (PACE), which aims to help suppliers minimize their environmental impacts by sharing details of Ford’s best practices for water, energy and carbon dioxide reduction.

“Setting goals and working toward stretching targets is our way of embracing the sustainability opportunities and challenges we face as a company and a society,” said Kim Pittel, VP of sustainability, environment and safety engineering. “Through human energy, ingenuity and a rigorous scientific approach, Ford is working to be part of the solution.”

Project Better World

Along with the new report, Ford also launched a new pilot program that aims to enhance mobility health services in rural areas of South Africa and Nigeria.

Ford Project Better World brings together multiple organizations such as World Vision South Africa, and social entrepreneurs to deliver health education, medication, nutrition and basic services to the thousands of underserved people in remote areas. The services will be accessed using enhanced mobility and connectivity technologies from Ford vehicles.

Two modified Ford Rangers will work as mobile clinics to deliver health services, dispense medication for chronic conditions, and monitor the growth of children in South Africa. The information gathered will aid agencies in tracking the health of children and help with protective services. Each truck is equipped with connectivity technologies including a dual-battery management system that powers a video projector, mobile refrigerator, tablet computer and other equipment to enable child healthcare, protection and gender-based violence awareness campaigns.

In Nigeria, Ford is working with Riders for Health to strengthen healthcare access by training the group’s technicians to maintain their motorcycles, four-wheeled vehicles and trucks in order to deliver medical professionals and supplies to people in rural areas and extend the amount of time vehicles are in service. The vehicles will be equipped with sensors and Ford’s OpenXC technology to collect data designed to make Riders for Health work more efficiently. OpenXC technology will also help create the first accurate maps of remote areas of the West African nation. 

Ford and its philanthropic arm, Ford Fund, have worked for decades on multiple projects globally to advance human welfare; Project Better World is the latest example.

“At Ford, we are looking beyond the traditional role vehicles play in society and are aggressively pursuing solutions to address the human challenges faced around the globe,” said Bill Ford, executive chairman. “Those challenges take us to remote areas where we can use advanced vehicle and connectivity technologies to change people’s lives and make the world a better place.”


Launched in 2006, Sustainable Brands has become a global learning, collaboration, and commerce community of forward-thinking business and brand strategy, marketing, innovation and sustainability professionals who are leading the way to a better future. We recognize that brands today have… [Read more about Sustainable Brands]


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