Ford Motor Company's Success with Environmental Issues

Bill Ford, Ford Motor Company Chairman, believes " A good company delivers good products and services; a great one does all that and strives to make the world a better place. "(Elkington, D. 2000) To be able to make the world a better place we need to preserve the environment for the children of today and for the children of tomorrow. Ford Motor Company has provided information about their environmental initiatives and studies associated with them. Issues of social and consumer research, the "Heritage Project"(Elkington, D.

2000), and environmental achievements have projected Ford Motor Company to the forefront of leading company to become environmentally friendly. Bill Ford first joined the board of trustees in 1988 and became chairman of the board in 1999. After taking this position the company's level of social awareness and activeness have been on the rise. The reason being is that society is demanding much more accountability from a corporation than ever before. Bill Ford and the Ford Motor Company have now taken steps to ensure that they will be the leaders and motivate others to right the wrongs and build a better future.

People, more then ever, are highly stimulate by environmental facts. One of the issues is global warming. If you were to travel to places like Mexico City and Beijing, the air is so thick you have to swallow just to breath. Tailpipe emissions are one of the leading contributors to this issue and great progress has been made. There are now hybrid vehicles and fuel cells. Hybrid vehicles are now beginning to hit the road. These Ford Motor Company's 4 vehicles use an internal combustion engine as well as an electric motor.

In fact, Ford Motor Corp. plans to release a hybrid- electric SUV in 2003 that will get 40 mpg. (Chang, David 2000). Another vehicle due to be released is the Ford Prodigy. The Prodigy will achieve 70 mpg because of its lightweight and aerodynamic design, along with the hybrid concept. (Elkington, D. 2000) The fuel cell holds the future. This vehicle runs off of hydrogen and emits only steam. Hydrogen is considered a renewable resource that can be produced from the algae on ponds.

These great innovations will reduce smog-forming pollutants by 4250 tons annually, give the consumers an efficient power source, and give automakers major business opportunity. (Chang, David 2000) The customers will eventually decide the fate of vehicles that are environmentally friendly. A massive conversion effort on the part of the makers will need to be done but only if people are will to buy the new products. While doing consumer research, Ford employees ask potential buyers a series of questions. Though it was not scientific, the answers were all generally the same.

People were first asked, "Are you an environmentalist? " and most people replied yes. Then they were asked, "Are you willing to pay more for it? " and the answer was generally NO. "Are you willing to compromise function? " with the general answer of NO. " Are you willing to compromise range? Performance? " and the answers were both NO and people do have the right to want these things. (Elkington, D. 2000) This is the problem put in front of automakers today. The advancement has not Ford Motor Company's 5 been so great that consumers will purchase these new, innovating vehicles.

Ford Motor Company has taken on new projects and new elements of manufacturing to produce vehicle that do not add in the break down of nature. On such project being the "Heritage Project. " This project takes the historic manufacturing complex in Detroit and renovating it to become environmentally friendly. The project calls for the symbol of the Industrial Revolution to become a positive contributor to the environment and reduce any harm the plant did throughout time. Another step to reduce waste and pollution was to become ISO 14001 certified.

This standard regulates and audits air, water chemical handling, and recycling. This process includes the breaking down of cars they had built and using the materials to be rebuilt into a car again. Ford motor company is not only taking the lead in environmental awareness but is also following treads being set by other manufactures. Since 1998, Aston Martin switched paints to water- based a type. Ford Motor Corp. adopted this change because it was better for the environment. This water-based paint massively reduced the amount of Volatile Organic Compounds emitted into the air.

Another benefit was that there was no need for solvents for clean up, only water producing a cleaner, less toxic environment. During this time Aston Martin also began to revolutionize the way plants are being built. Their new facilities were built into hillsides with doors painted green to match and trees planted through out to reduce its visibility and impact on the Ford Motor Company's 6 environment. (Ross, Ronald J. 1999) Ford Motor Company has taken this idea and has incorporated it into all new facilities and to refurbish existing plants.

Traffic congestion is another reason for the pollution in the air today. Ford has employees researching ways to reduce the emission by reducing congestion. One way of course is through carpooling and the use of mass transit systems. These do not however meet the needs of everyone. Fords response is the use of telematics. Telematics is electronic information that provides traffic and road conditions. This system can also be used to locate the nearest parking facility to your destination or reduce the time you spend getting lost going around in circles.

Though these will never end congestion Ford has begun to support local cities in their fights against congestion to reduce smog. As you can see, Ford Motor Company has taken an issue that is coming to the forefront and started to listen to the yells of a dying world from pollution. This is a tough hurdle with not a lot of support from other industries. Ford must continue to give great returns to their stockholders, give customers what they are looking for, and find ways to help and have less impact on the environment.

Through many small steps like research, special projects, and innovations, Ford will one day produce a product that will no longer interfere with nature. Ford Motor Company's 7 References Chang, David (2000). Stop your choking, hybrids are here. Car and Driver. Ross, Ronald J. (1999). Innovations for the future. Charleston: Quant Publishing. Elkington, D. (2000). Elkington of SustainAbility Interviews Bill Ford. Retrieved May 10, 2002 World Wide Web: http://www. ford motorcompany. com