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Ford expands its climate change goals & sets carbon neutral target
Ford Motor Company intends to achieve carbon neutrality globally by 2050, while setting interim carbon neutrality targets to urgently address climate change challenges in Europe.
The 2050 commitment was announced as the company issued its 21st annual sustainability report.
In Europe, Ford is already using 100 per cent green electric energy to power all Ford facilities in the UK, the Craiova plant in Romania, and all facilities in Cologne, Germany, including the vehicle assembly and engine plants. Ford expects that Europe will be among the first global regions to become carbon neutral.
In November last year, Ford of Europe also joined the call for businesses, governments and organisations to work together to develop a sustainable Europe 2030 strategy. Initiated by CSR Europe, the European business network for corporate sustainability and responsibility, the call-to-action was endorsed by 380 CEOs in 24 European countries, including Stuart Rowley, president, Ford of Europe.
The company previously announced its plan to use 100 per cent locally sourced renewable energy for all its manufacturing plants globally by 2035. That means energy would come only from sources that naturally replenish – such as hydropower, geothermal, wind or solar.
Carbon neutrality refers to achieving zero carbon emissions by balancing such emissions with carbon removal. To achieve its goal, Ford will focus initially on three areas that account for approximately 95 per cent of its CO2 emissions – vehicle use, its supply base and the company’s facilities.
Ford said it is setting the 2050 goal fully aware of challenges, including customer acceptance, government regulations, economic conditions and the availability of renewable, carbon-neutral electricity and renewable fuels.
Bob Holycross, vice president, chief sustainability, environment and safety officer, said: “We can develop and make great vehicles, sustain and grow a strong business and protect our planet at the same time – in fact, those ideals complement each other. We don’t have all the answers yet but are determined to work with all of our global and local partners and stakeholders to get there.”
Ford is also working to develop goals approved and defined by the science based targets initiative for its Scope 1, Scope 2 and Scope 3 emissions. Scope 1 covers direct emissions from company-owned or -controlled sources, while Scope 2 addresses indirect emissions from generation of purchased electricity, steam, heating and cooling consumed by Ford. Scope 3 emissions speak to in-use emissions from vehicles that Ford sells and emissions from its supply base, among others.
The 2050 commitment represents Ford continuing to ratchet up more environmentally friendly performance for its products and operations. In 2019, the company expanded its climate strategy to find more effective ways to integrate the wants and needs of people and its business, along with the possibilities of technology, by applying human-centred, design thinking.
A cross-functional Ford team from around the world – including the US, Europe and China – developed the company’s carbon-neutral approach after analysing information on the environment, customers, technology, legislation, energy, competitive approaches, life-cycle assessments and other trends.
Mindy Lubber, CEO and president of the sustainability nonprofit organisation 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. Ford recognises the urgency to address climate change, and we urge every company to take action and commit to science-based targets within their global enterprises.”
Ford is investing more than $11.5bn in electric vehicles through 2022, and is committed to offering an electrified version of every passenger vehicle it brings to market in Europe. It also intends to grow its range of electrified vehicles on sale in Europe to 18 before the end of 2021, including mild hybrid, full hybrid, plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicles.