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 Sustainability, Automotive

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

Prices trending up for some recycled resins

July 24, 2014 1:27 pm ET

Plastics News is correcting prices for recycled grades of several commodity resins on this week's resin pricing chart.    More

Image

Chinese auto suppliers growing in US

July 24, 2014 4:17 pm ET

Two China-based automotive suppliers are expanding in the U.S., according to information released by the Michigan Economic Development Corp.    More

PetStar doubles capacity at Mexico recycling facility

July 24, 2014 2:10 pm ET

Mexican recycling giant PetStar SAPI de CV, owned by the System of Coca-Cola Bottlers in Mexico, has doubled the capacity of its facility to 130...    More

Meredian merging with Danimer Scientific

July 24, 2014 1:59 pm ET

Bioplastics maker Meredian Inc. is merging with its sister firm, Danimer Scientific LLC.    More

Image

US Bioplastics receives funding to bring Gatoresin to the market

July 24, 2014 1:44 pm ET

Materials maker U.S. Bioplastics is hoping its Gatoresin product will take a bite out of the bioplastics market, thanks to funding from a state agency...    More

Market Reports

Injection Molders Market Report & Ranking 2014

This special package contains our 132-page 2014 Market Report on the Injection Molding segment and our exclusive 2014 RANKINGS database of 500+ Injection Molders for a discounted package price.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Market Review & Outlook 2014

This special report from Plastics News examines the North American plastics recycling industry and provides insight into indicators that impact market viability, including Resin pricing trends for virgin and recycled market material and historical Resin production trends for post- consumer and industrial waste.

Learn more

Shale Gas Market - Analysis of North American Region

This report highlights the impact of shale-based natural gas on the North American plastics market and features an in-depth analysis of production trends in the United States during 2013 and a forecast for 2014 and beyond.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

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

More Events