Ford reduced the average amount of water used to make each vehicle by 8.5 percent between 2011 and 2012, putting the company more than halfway toward its goal of using an average of 4 cubic meters per vehicle globally by 2015.
The automaker says it has achieved these water savings by minimizing consumption at Ford facilities, investing in water technology and finding ways to use alternative, lower-quality water sources.
For example, Ford says it halved its water use at its Cologne, Germany engine plant last year by implementing a dry-machining process. Also in 2012, the company’s Silverton assembly plant in South Africa began using a $2.5 million on-site wastewater treatment plant increasing the amount of water that can be reused by up to 15 percent. Similarly, its Chennai assembly plant in India installed a new system that began operating in September and allows the plant to recycle 100 percent of its water. Two Chinese assembly plants in Chongqing added advanced water treatment equipment to improve recycling, averaging 100,000 and 65,000 gallons of recycled water a day, according to the automaker.
In addition to cutting its own consumption, Ford says it supported several water-related projects across the globe last year. At the company’s Louisville, Ky. assembly plant, Ford replaced parking lot asphalt with pervious paving blocks to manage stormwater runoff, helping protect nearby bodies of freshwater
Last year, the automaker committed to reducing its water usage per vehicle by 30 percent by 2015 against a 2009 baseline.
Since 2000, Ford has reduced the amount of water it uses in everything from cooling towers to parts washing and paint operations by 10.6 billion gallons, or 62 percent, as part of its Global Water Management Initiative. The initiative puts in place ways to manage water conservation, quality and reuse of storm and process water.
Ford made its most recent water-reduction announcement today, on World Water Day.