Ford to slash landfill waste by 70% within five years 31 January 2012

Ford is implementing what it describes as a green manufacturing plan aimed at cutting landfill waste by 70% and water usage by 30% within five years at its production plants across Europe.

The project is part of Ford's five-year sustainability strategy and builds on achievemens at the ISO14001-accredited Ford Dagenham estate, which is already at close to zero landfill and is progressively minimising water usage.

The company says it will increase the proportion of waste recycled and reused, resulting in a reduction in landfill waste generated per vehicle to 1.5kg by 2016, from 5kg last year.

Stephen Odell, chairman and CEO of Ford of Europe, says that currently, of the entire annual waste produced at Dagenham (5,937 tonnes in 2011), 85% is recycled and 15% goes to landfill. Dagenham Engine Plant is currently working on an 'oil reclamation' process that, if successful, will eliminate virtually all landfill.

He also says that, based on an annual production of 1.2 million vehicles, Ford will save around 1.3 billion litres per year of water – cutting €2.3 million of production costs and 1,100 litres per car or van produced.

"This goes hand in hand with our commitment to develop the most fuel efficient vehicles," states Odell. "Sustainability makes just as much sense for Ford as a business as it does for the environment."

Ford Europe is already on record as having cut landfill waste generation by 40% since 2007 and reducing water use by 37% over the same period.

The new Ford commitment covers manufacturing in Genk in Belgium, Valencia in Spain, Saarlouis and Cologne in Germany as well as Southampton, Bridgend and Dagenham in the UK. Genk, Saarlouis and Cologne had previously taken significant steps to reduce landfill waste and are now operating landfill free.

Odell says the companis is already working internally and with partners to reduce resources consumed in production. Subsequently, it will move on to production to cut waste, before embarking on recycling as much waste as possible or uing it to generate energy.

Production of Ford's new 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine in Cologne takes one such approach. The introduction of a new production line and new manufacturing techniques reduced water use by 37%, compared to the manufacturing line it replaced.

One part of the process sees the amount of coolant used to produce aluminum engine parts reduced from two litres to five millilitres.

"Sustainable processes enable us to make car production leaner and more cost-efficient," comments Ford of Europe manufacturing director Dirk Heller. "It's both the right thing to do and the smart thing to do."

Brian Tinham

Related Companies
Ford Motor Co Ltd

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