Sponsored By

PTC Gives Ford Insight into Supply Chain Carbon Footprint

DN Staff

June 15, 2010

3 Min Read
PTC Gives Ford Insight into Supply Chain Carbon Footprint

As part of a broadercommitment and blueprint for sustainability, Ford Motor Co. is nowsurveying 35 of its top global suppliers to gain a better understanding oftheir greenhouse gas emissions footprint and as part of a larger effort to helpreduce carbon emissions within the automotive industry.

The 35 suppliers, which represent close to 30 percent ofFord's $65 billion in annual procurement spending, initially include companiesthat make commodities such as seats, steering systems, tires and metalcomponents. The data gathered from these suppliers will be evaluated using PTC InSightEnvironmental Compliance, modeling software that allows companies to trackand improve the environmental performance of parts, materials and suppliers. PTCInSight also allows manufacturers to align their product developmentefforts 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 asother directives.

"Suppliers play an important role as we look to reduce ouroverall carbon footprint and drive more efficiency in an energy-constrainedworld," said Tony Brown, Ford group vice president, Global Purchasing, in apress release announcing the initiative.

Ford has already done preliminary work with PTC to identifyopportunities for both Ford and its suppliers to reduce carbon emissions,officials said. Any reductions accomplished in the supply chain would be inaddition to Ford's stated goal of reducing its own greenhouse gas emissions by30 percent by 2020 from the company's 2006 model year baseline.

Ford's announcement comes at a point when a number ofdiscrete manufacturers are realizing that the majority of their carbonfootprint comes from their supply chain, according to Andrew Wertkin, PTC'svice president of InSight Products and Technology. "Ford can't just look at theelectric bills at its plants or only look at its carbon footprint in terms ofthe final assembly of vehicles," Wertkin said. "What about the mining ofmaterials 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 thoseprocesses."

InSight will allow Ford and its suppliers to match parts inthe bill of materials with models of their individual carbon and energyimpacts, allowing them to roll up the carbon and energy impacts at a vehiclelevel. What this enables them to do, according to Wertkin, is identify theareas that will have the greatest environmental impact for design changes. "Theidea here is to bring this process of analyzing carbon and energy at a productlevel early in the process so companies can make decisions while they aredeveloping," he said. Ford is conducting this process across its vehicleportfolio - not just in a silo approach with a single product. "This isn'tabout modeling one part, one product or one thing at a time in a silo," Wertkinsaid. "This allows them to scale and streamline processes so they can lookacross many products in different categories and make more enterprisedecisions."

As part of Ford's efforts to create a carbon managementapproach for its supply chain, the firm will share feedback from its datacollection and analysis process with the WorldResources Institute (WRI) and the WorldBusiness Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), two organizationsdeveloping methods for measuring and reporting corporate greenhouse gasemissions. Ford is also participating in the CarbonDisclosure Project Supply Chain Program and the Automotive Industry ActionGroup, to develop guidelines for measuring supplier emissions and establishbest practices.

Sign up for the Design News Daily newsletter.

You May Also Like