Ford expands research into its supply base’s carbon footprint
By Rhoda Miel
DEARBORN, MICH. (Oct. 13, 4:10 p.m. ET) — Ford Motor Co. is expanding its research into the carbon footprint of its supply base, launching a study of 128 global suppliers.
Ford first began researching its suppliers’ environmental footprint in 2010, working with 35 companies supplying car seats, steering systems, tires and metal components. The Dearborn, Mich.-based automaker had determined those products required more energy and had a larger carbon footprint, so were the best place to start, Ford said in an Oct. 12 news release.
The expanded study now will cover parts makers turning out 60 percent of Ford’s $65 million annual purchasing budget. The survey covers companies making production parts as well as supplying information technology and logistics services.
“By expanding our program to a cross-section of suppliers, we will significantly increase our understanding of suppliers’ ability to manage their carbon impacts and further inform the creation of a broad-based carbon management system,” said Tony Brown, group vice president Ford global purchasing.
Key findings from the 2010 survey found that 80 percent of the companies in the pilot program tracked their carbon emissions, and half of those companies externally reported their data.
“The results clearly demonstrate that those high impact suppliers that we had hoped were paying attention to greenhouse gas emissions in fact were doing so,” said Monique Oxender, global manager of Ford’s supply chain sustainability. “However, these results may not represent the broader global automotive supply base’s readiness to track, report and proactively manage carbon emissions.”
Ford has been working with industry groups to help develop a guideline for estimating, collecting and report manufacturing facility-based greenhouse gas emission data. It is one of two automakers working with the independent Carbon Disclosure Project and its CDP Supply Chain Program for 2011, which is looking at the impact across multiple industries.

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