As part of a broader
commitment and blueprint for sustainability, Ford Motor Co. is now
surveying 35 of its top global suppliers to gain a better understanding of
their greenhouse gas emissions footprint and as part of a larger effort to help
reduce carbon emissions within the automotive industry.
The 35 suppliers, which represent close to 30 percent of
Ford's $65 billion in annual procurement spending, initially include companies
that make commodities such as seats, steering systems, tires and metal
components. The data gathered from these suppliers will be evaluated using PTC InSight
Environmental Compliance, modeling software that allows companies to track
and improve the environmental performance of parts, materials and suppliers. PTC
InSight also allows manufacturers to align their product development
efforts with regulatory requirements around Restriction of Hazardous Substances
(RoHS), Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE), Registration,
Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH), as well as
"Suppliers play an important role as we look to reduce our
overall carbon footprint and drive more efficiency in an energy-constrained
world," said Tony Brown, Ford group vice president, Global Purchasing, in a
press release announcing the initiative.
Ford has already done preliminary work with PTC to identify
opportunities for both Ford and its suppliers to reduce carbon emissions,
officials said. Any reductions accomplished in the supply chain would be in
addition to Ford's stated goal of reducing its own greenhouse gas emissions by
30 percent by 2020 from the company's 2006 model year baseline.
Ford's announcement comes at a point when a number of
discrete manufacturers are realizing that the majority of their carbon
footprint comes from their supply chain, according to Andrew Wertkin, PTC's
vice president of InSight Products and Technology. "Ford can't just look at the
electric bills at its plants or only look at its carbon footprint in terms of
the final assembly of vehicles," Wertkin said. "What about the mining of
materials that go into those parts or the shipping of parts to suppliers?
There's a great deal of energy use and carbon and environmental impact in those
InSight will allow Ford and its suppliers to match parts in
the bill of materials with models of their individual carbon and energy
impacts, allowing them to roll up the carbon and energy impacts at a vehicle
level. What this enables them to do, according to Wertkin, is identify the
areas that will have the greatest environmental impact for design changes. "The
idea here is to bring this process of analyzing carbon and energy at a product
level early in the process so companies can make decisions while they are
developing," he said. Ford is conducting this process across its vehicle
portfolio - not just in a silo approach with a single product. "This isn't
about modeling one part, one product or one thing at a time in a silo," Wertkin
said. "This allows them to scale and streamline processes so they can look
across many products in different categories and make more enterprise
As part of Ford's efforts to create a carbon management
approach for its supply chain, the firm will share feedback from its data
collection and analysis process with the World
Resources Institute (WRI) and the World
Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), two organizations
developing methods for measuring and reporting corporate greenhouse gas
emissions. Ford is also participating in the Carbon
Disclosure Project Supply Chain Program and the Automotive Industry Action
Group, to develop guidelines for measuring supplier emissions and establish
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