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Ford to cut waste-to-landfill by 2016

Ford’s new five-year global waste reduction strategy calls for a 40 percent per vehicle reduction in the amount of waste sent to landfill between 2011 and 2016 – equal to just 13.4 pounds per vehicle worldwide.

Ford’s new five year global waste reduction strategy calls for a 40 percent per vehicle reduction in the amount of waste sent to landfill between 2011 and 2016 – equal to just 13.4 pounds per vehicle worldwide

Cutting waste-to-landfill at Ford’s Van Dyke Transmission Plant has always been important to workers there, but they weren’t satisfied until last fall, when a small, diligent local committee played a major role in solving a nagging 10 ton problem.

The solution – a way to keep 10 tons’ worth of 8’-long, 350 lb. fabric coolant filters from being landfilled monthly – means the Van Dyke facility is Ford’s first North American zero waste-to-landfill transmission plant and now diverts a total of 15 tons of waste-from-landfill monthly.

Under the plan, waste-to-landfill will drop to just 13.4 pounds – or by 40 percent – per vehicle by 2016.

The comprehensive strategy covers all angles of Ford’s waste reduction plans – from working with global suppliers to use more eco-friendly packaging, to enabling employees such as those at Van Dyke to play an active role in coming up with ways to help Ford reach its goals. Even kitchen waste is addressed.

There can also be financial benefits. 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.

The new strategy builds on the success the company saw between 2007 and 2011, when the amount of waste sent to landfill per vehicle dropped from 37.9 to 22.7 pounds – a 40 percent reduction. Reductions were accomplished through the launch of new initiatives and programs, such as paint waste recycling at facilities in Australia, Thailand, India and Spain.

Ford plans to continue reducing the amount of waste-to-landfill by emphasizing prevention, minimization, reuse and recycle of waste whenever possible. Specific actions include trying to reduce or eliminate the amount of certain kinds of waste from entering Ford facilities in the first place.

Ford’s push to establish more zero waste-to-landfill facilities globally is one element of the company’s commitment to reducing its environmental impact.

Other initiatives include:

  • Greenhouse gas emissions: Reduce from manufacturing facilities by 30 percent per vehicle between 2010 and 2025.
  • Water use: Reduce the amount used in the manufacture of each vehicle by 30 percent between 2009 and 2015.
  • Energy consumption: 25 percent reduction in average consumption per vehicle globally between 2011 and 2016.