Ford to Cut Vehicle Waste 40 Percent by 2016

by | Feb 28, 2013

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Ford Motor Co. yesterday unveiled a five-year global strategy to reduce waste sent to landfill between 2011 and 2016 by 40 percent per vehicle.

The initiative will reduce waste to just 13.4 pounds per vehicle worldwide, Ford said.

The waste reduction plan will encompass Ford’s entire operations, including working with global suppliers to use more eco-friendly packaging, allowing employees to find ways to reach the goal and addressing kitchen waste.

Under the five-year plan, Ford will identify the five largest volume waste-to-landfill streams at each of its plants, and develop plans to reduce the waste and track progress.

The company will implement lean manufacturing practices to help minimize waste. Ford said it also will improve waste-sorting procedures to make recycling and reuse easier, invest in technologies such as dry-machining that minimize waste, and expand programs that manage specific kinds of waste, like paint sludge and metallic particles from the grinding process.

The plan builds on Ford’s previous goal of reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill per vehicle 40 percent between 2007 and 2011. Ford was able to cut waste per vehicle from 37.9 to 22.7, a 40 percent reduction, over the five-year period.

Ford turned to its employees at its Van Dyke Transmission plant to keep 10 tons worth of 8-foot long, 350-pound fabric coolant filters out of the landfill on a monthly basis. The facility is now Ford’s first North American zero-waste-to-landfill transmission plant, and diverts 15 tons of waste from landfill monthly.

Ford plants in Michigan; Cologne, Germany; Genk, Belgium; Chennai, India; Lio Ho, Taiwan and Nanchang, China have all achieved zero waste-to-landfill status, according to the company’s 2011 corporate sustainability report.

In 2011, Ford facilities globally sent about 56,000 metric tons of waste to landfill, a reduction of 11.3 percent from 2010. Year-on-year the company also reduced landfill disposal by more than 19 percent on a per-vehicle basis.

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