As you may imagine, the process of supplying passenger vehicles to a global market produces a lot of waste. Most vehicle manufacturers might see this as the cost of doing business, but Fort Motor Co. sees it as costly inefficiency.
The company recently announced an aggressive five-year global waste reduction plan: a strategy that will place emphasis on reduction and reuse of previously wasted materials. 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.
The push for continued waste reduction was inspired by Ford’s Van Dyke Transmission plant, which used employee suggestions and initiative to become the first North American zero-waste-to-landfill transmission plant, and diverts 15 tons of waste from landfill monthly.
Major components of the Ford plan include: Identifying the five largest volume waste-to-landfill streams at each plant, developing plans to reduce each and tracking progress; Improving waste sorting procedures to make recycling and reuse easier; Investing in new technologies that minimize waste, such as dry-machining; and Expanding programs that deal with managing specific kinds of waste like metallic particles from the grinding process and paint sludge.
In 2012, Ford generated $225 million in revenue through the recycling of 568,000 tons of scrap metal in the U.S. and Canada alone, so there’s an undeniable financial benefit to finding even more ways to divert waste from the landfill.