Ford Expands Climate Change Goals, Sets Target to Become Carbon Neutral By 2050
As part of its 21st annual Sustainability Report, Ford Motor Company has announced its ambition to achieve carbon neutrality globally no later than 2050, while setting interim targets to address the urgency of climate change.
Carbon neutrality refers to achieving zero carbon emissions by balancing carbon emissions with removal. To achieve its goal, Ford will focus on three areas that account for approximately 95 percent of its CO2 emissions – vehicle use, its supply base and the company’s facilities.
The company also is working to develop goals approved by the Science Based Targets initiative for Scope 1, Scope 2, and Scope 3 emissions. Scope 1 covers direct emissions from Ford’s owned or controlled sources, while Scope 2 covers indirect emissions from the generation of purchased electricity, steam, heating and cooling consumed by the company. Scope 3 emissions cover in-use emissions from Ford’s sold vehicles.
Ford expanded its climate strategy in 2019 to find more effective ways to integrate the wants and needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements for business success using a human-centered, design-thinking approach. A cross-functional team from around the world, including the U.S., Europe and China, developed the company’s carbon-neutral approach, analyzing information on the environment, customers, technology, legislation, energy, competitive approaches, life-cycle assessments, and other trends.
The goal is not without its outside challenges, including customer acceptance, government regulations, economic conditions and the availability of renewable, carbon-neutral electricity and renewable fuels. But meeting the challenge of climate change is a key responsibility and a strategic priority for Ford. This includes helping limit the global temperature increase in keeping with the Paris Agreement. Ford is the only full-line American automaker to align with the Paris Agreement by committing to lower CO2 emissions,
“We believe that making great vehicles and maintaining a strong business do not have to be at the cost of protecting our planet,” said Bob Holycross, vice president, chief sustainability, environment and safety officer. “We know that getting to carbon neutrality in 2050 is a significant challenge, and we don’t have all the answers yet, but we have the determination to work with all of our partners and stakeholders to get there.”
Mindy Lubber, CEO and president of the sustainability nonprofit organization Ceres, hailed Ford’s long-term goal and encouraged other companies to follow suit.
“We congratulate Ford on its commitment to be carbon neutral by 2050,” she said. “Ford recognizes the urgency to address climate change, and we urge other companies to take action and commit to science-based targets within their global enterprises.”
Ford already has invested more than $11.5 billion in electric vehicles, introducing zero-emission versions of some of its most popular nameplates, including the Mustang Mach-E, a Transit Commercial EV and an electric F-150 coming in mid-2022.
The company previously announced its plan to use 100 percent locally sourced renewable energy for all manufacturing plants globally by 2035, meaning the energy comes from sources that naturally replenish – such as hydropower, geothermal or wind and solar.
Additional Report Highlights
In addition to the company’s carbon neutrality goal and progress, the sustainability report highlights the company’s sustainability work across the company and around the world, including:
COVID-19: Keeping People Safe
The health and safety of employees remains Ford’s highest priority, and the COVID-19 outbreak challenged the company in many ways. Ford moved quickly to close production sites, used technology to enable many of employees to work remotely, and implemented programs to support colleagues’ physical, mental and emotional health.
The company used its design expertise, manufacturing capacity and vehicle parts to help produce ventilators, respirators and personal protective equipment. Its return-to-work playbook for China, Europe and the U.S., with amended safety requirements and restructured roles, is being extended to other regions as operations restart.
2019 marked an exciting year as Ford’s electrification strategy began moving into motion. The company introduced the Mustang Mach-E, an all-electric Mustang SUV available in late 2020, which will achieve an EPA-estimated 300 miles of range on a single charge. The Mustang Mach-E is the first all-new, full electric vehicle as part of the company’s more than $11.5 billion investment in electrification through 2022.
As part of the Mustang Mach-E reveal, Ford announced North America’s largest public charging network, the FordPass Charging Network, with more than 13,500 charging stations and approximately 40,000 individual charge plugs. These announcements are paving the way for a future all-electric F-150 and all-electric Transit, reinforcing Ford’s commitment to electrifying its most popular nameplates, amplifying the attributes that customers want, such as performance, capability and convenience.
Recognizing the value of waste streams and upcycling has been a strong focus for Ford for more than a decade. Supporting the circular economy was front and center when the company announced its collaboration with McDonald’s USA in 2019 to take coffee chaff, a waste byproduct from McDonald’s coffee production, and turn it into vehicle parts. The sustainable innovation will not only reduce petroleum use, but the resulting components will be 20 percent lighter and require up to 25 percent less energy during the molding process.
Turning waste streams into biomaterials for Ford vehicle parts is something research teams have been exploring and implementing for years. Starting in 2007, Ford introduced soy foam as an alternative to petroleum-based seat foam in the Mustang. Since then the company has expanded soy foam to every vehicle line in North America- more than 25 million vehicles, saving hundreds of millions of pounds of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere.
Diversity and Inclusion
In keeping with Ford’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, the company signed the United Nations (UN) Women’s Empowerment Principles in February 2020, appeared in the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index for the second straight year, and received a perfect score of 100 in the 2019 Disability Equality Index®.
The report also addresses the issue of social injustice, to which society and corporations can no longer stay silent. There’s no doubt that the weight of these challenges disproportionately falls on the African American community. Ford has seen this disparity among its team members affected by COVID-19, and the legacy of economic disparities in its own home city of Detroit. There are no easy fixes to longstanding systemic issues. However, Ford is committed to listening, learning and co-creating solutions to create a better company.
To learn more about Ford’s sustainability leadership, progress and commitments, visit sustainability.ford.com.