Image via Flickr by MSVG

Image via Flickr by MSVG

Designing and manufacturing a car is not an easy process, and it’s also not usually not very environmentally friendly either. The auto industry may not be known for being stewards of the environment yet, but Ford’s initiatives are working to change that. Ford started from the inside out to make their company more environmentally friendly and to lower their carbon footprint. One of Ford’s main initiatives is fuel efficiency for its six-speed vehicles and its heavy duty vehicles, not just for the hybrids. Since it’s not enough to make the cars more environmentally friendly, Ford works to increase energy efficiency at its manufacturing plants as well.

Sustainable Fabrics

Ford shows its environmental consciousness in many facets of its vehicles. When engineering the 2008 Ford Escape, the company only used recycled materials for the fabric of the car. Interface Fabrics, which supplies Ford with its recycled materials, estimates that Ford’s initiative conserves 600,000 gallons of water and a savings of what equals about 7 million kilowatt hours of electricity.

Heavy Duty Pickups

A trailblazer in heavy duty pickups, Ford released the 2008 Super Duty, revolutionizing this segment with the first clean diesel engine. This truck meets high emissions standards with a smooth ride and quiet engine. It also doesn’t sacrifice torque or power. Ford’s F-150 with Eco Boost offers 16 mpg and 22 highway mpg, and still maintains the horsepower of former F-150s. The F-150 with Eco Boost is often one of the highest rated trucks for fuel efficiency on the market. The particle emission for this specific vehicle is also competitive with comparable gasoline engines.

EPA Energy All Star

Ford was the first two-time winner of the EPA’s Energy Star Award because of the company’s initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Ford has improved energy efficiency by 25 percent in all facilities. That energy savings is enough to power over 200,000 homes. Ford also won the Energy Star 2007 Partner of the Year Award in Energy Management. Ford implements its processes overseas as well by launching energy management initiatives in its plants in Asia and Africa as well. Ford has also won an EPA Energy Star award for its vehicles. Ford has improved its energy efficiency in its vehicles by almost 5 percent in recent years.

Green Roof Initiatives

Probably the most impressive facet of Ford’s work is that one of Ford’s plants has the World’s Largest Living Roof. The roof, which is over 10 acres, is part of an environmental initiative that absorbs millions of gallons of rainwater. The sedum groundcover also collects carbon dioxide as well. The roof also produces oxygen and insulates the building. As if that wasn’t enough, the roof also lasts twice as long as typical roofs, reducing waste and decreasing energy consumption.

While other car companies are looking at cutting costs with little concern toward the environment, Ford is working toward making every aspect of their manufacturing more environmentally friendly. Although fuel efficient vehicles are also a focus, Ford goes beyond to make sure that the quality of their vehicles isn’t sacrificed in the search for more environmentally friendly vehicles and manufacturing processes.