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Embracing Green Practices from Ford, Auto Suppliers Showcase Environmentally Friendly Manufacturing

Mary Wroten

Corporate Responsibility Puts Ford Among World’s Most Ethical Companies for Eighth Straight Year

With its focus on being a good corporate citizen, Ford Motor Company has been named one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies by the Ethisphere Institute for the eighth straight year – the longest streak for any auto manufacturer.

Wroten spoke with Kirk Heinze on Greening of the Great Lakes.

"We're very honored to be recognized as one of the world's most ethical companies for our commitment to ethics and corporate responsibility throughout, not just our company, but our supply chain," says Mary Wroten, senior manager of Ford Supply Chain Sustainability. "Our efforts in our supply chain have really helped keep Ford among the world's most ethical companies."

Each year, the Ethisphere Institute recognizes the world’s top companies for driving positive change by mandating ethical practices and promoting corporate citizenship as well as responsible governance and leadership.

As manufacturing continues to become greener, Ford is going further to shrink its environmental footprint by sharing even more leading sustainability practices with its suppliers around the globe.

The Partnership for A Cleaner Environment (PACE) is part of Ford’s commitment to creating a better world. While many sustainability practices have been implemented at Ford’s 70 manufacturing sites, the automaker continues to expand the program to include tools that help suppliers reduce carbon-dioxide emissions and waste, as well as help make water and energy consumption more efficient.

"It's a program where Ford is sharing our best practices to reduce our environmental footprint with our suppliers. These best practices are hundreds of leading practices that the smartest engineers at our company have pulled together that help us reduce our CO2 footprint, our energy footprint, and our water and waste footprint.

“And now we're sharing these practices with our suppliers. We're teaching our suppliers how they can, too, reduce their environmental footprint. And we're asking our most strategic suppliers to pass on this knowledge with their sub tiers so we can get a cascading effect. And Ford's collective footprint throughout our entire supply chain can be reduced.

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. Suppliers are encouraged to share their findings with their own supply chain and Ford.

"This is where a supplier would walk throughout their facility and see what's happening in their facility and where they might be losing energy. We give them ideas on things they can look for, like lighting, and give them best practices to save energy.

"For example, in 2014 we upgraded our lighting to LED technology in our global manufacturing plants. We invested $25 million to install 25,000 new light fixtures, and this one action alone is saving over 56 million kilowatt hours annually, which translates to about $7 million dollars in savings per year."

Wroten says the ultimate goal is to get all of Ford's suppliers to participate.

"We have well over 1,200 production suppliers. As we're scaling it up, we want to make sure that we optimize the tools that we're providing to our suppliers so they can track and reduce their environmental performance in the most efficient way."

Greening of the Great Lakes airs inside MSU Today Sunday afternoons at 4:00 on AM 870 and FM 94.5.

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