Ford to unify sustainability rules

By Rhoda Miel
News Editor

Published: May 23, 2012 6:00 am ET

Ford’s Jennifer Gilhool outlines the company’s efforts to achieve global uniformity in its sustainability guidelines. (Plastics News photo by Laurence Mak)

Related to this story

Topics Automotive, Sustainability

SHANGHAI (May 23, 2:05 p.m. ET)  — Global automakers have been talking about a “global car” platform strategy for the past few years — working with suppliers that can produce the same parts to the same standards in multiple countries.

And for Ford Motor Co., that also means meeting the same sustainable manufacturing standards for those cars and their parts in any region as well.

“[Sustainability] is part of a total corporate strategy for products,” said Jennifer Gilhool, director of sustainability, environment and safety engineering for Ford’s Asia-Pacific and Africa group.

Ford's Gilhool discusses Ford's sustainability plans in this video exclusive.

At Plastics News’ China Plastics in Automotive conference April 17 in Shanghai, Gilhool stressed the importance of clear environmental strategy across Ford’s global manufacturing footprint. At its new $760 million manufacturing plant in Hangzhou, China — being built with Chinese joint venture partner Changan Ford Mazda Automobile — the Dearborn, Mich.-based automaker will install the same production processes used everywhere else.

That will include using soy and other bio-based foams in seating, and natural reinforcement in plastics, such as coconut husk, to make parts that are lighter than glass-filled thermoplastic composites.

Ford has said it also intends to continue its use of microcellular molding. It launched production of an instrument panel on its Escape and Kuga sport utility vehicles last year using Trexel Inc.’s MuCell process to save $3 and 1 pound of weight per vehicle.

Ford’s “three wet” painting process, designed to reduce production time and the emissions created during painting, is being installed as part of the expansion at its plant in Chongqing.

By 2015, the automaker plans to introduce 15 new vehicles to China. The plan will include enhanced powertrain technology that incorporates engine turbochargers — which use a variety of engineering-grade resins — to help drivers there get more miles from their fuel.

“There are 1 billion cars on the road today,” Gilhool said. “We could have 4 billion cars on the road by 2050. Even with zero-emission vehicles and using renewable resources, 4 billion cars is still 4 billion cars.”

Ford Chairman Bill Ford has said that sustainability in the face of the increasing demand for personal cars is one of the industry’s next big challenges, she said.


Comments

Ford to unify sustainability rules

By Rhoda Miel
News Editor

Published: May 23, 2012 6:00 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Sabic: Rapid demand growth led to Ultem shortage

December 18, 2014 12:06 pm ET

Sabic Innovative Plastics has been increasing production capacity for its Ultem polyetherimide but it still got caught short by increasing demand for ...    More

Auto supplier M-Tek relocating headquarters

December 18, 2014 3:37 pm ET

M-Tek Inc., a subsidiary of Japanese automotive supplier Kasai Kogyo Co. Ltd., will build a new North American corporate headquarters in Murfreesboro,...    More

Image

Soy-based foam improves window performance, sustainability

December 18, 2014 12:51 pm ET

Launched in April 2013, Madison, Wis.-based WFI Global LLC is making a name in the fenestration market with what it says is a distinct product...    More

Image

Europe puts its 'Circular Economy' recycling effort on hold, for now

December 18, 2014 12:28 pm ET

The European Commission has withdrawn its Circular Economy initiative from its 2015 work program, and will instead replace it with “a new, more ...    More

Image

Indian auto parts maker set to buy assets in Germany, Mexico

December 18, 2014 10:35 am ET

Indian auto parts maker Samvardhana Motherson Gropup is buying the assets of insolvent German plastics car parts producer Scherer & Trier (S&T).    More

Market Reports

Flexible Packaging Trends in North America

Our latest RESEARCH report examines trends in FLEXIBLE PACKAGING impacting the North American market including a review of economic conditions, key drivers of growth, materials pricing, M&A activity, sustainability challenges and the outlook for 2015.

Learn more

Plastics in Brazil - State of the Industry Report

This in-depth report examines the Brazilian plastics industry from a historical and geographical context. Our analysts provide insight on economic trends and forecasts, growing manufacturing sectors that utilize plastics, private investment opportunities, market environment challenges, and innovations in R&D.

Data tables and charts on producer prices, trade, plastics production and end market indicators is also included.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

October 27, 2015 - October 29, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - New York - 2015

More Events