Ford Motor Co. is expanding its research into the carbon footprint of its supply base, launching a study of 128 global suppliers.
Ford first began researching its suppliers' environmental footprint in 2010, working with 35 companies supplying car seats, steering systems, tires and metal components. Those products required more energy and had a larger carbon footprint, so were the best place to start, Dearborn, Mich.-based Ford said in an Oct. 12 news release.
The study now will cover parts makers turning out 60 percent of Ford's $65 million annual purchasing budget. It covers companies making production parts as well as supplying information technology and logistics services.
“By expanding our program to a cross-section of suppliers, we will significantly increase our understanding of suppliers' ability to manage their carbon impacts and further inform the creation of a broad-based carbon management system,” said Tony Brown, group vice president for global purchasing.
Key findings from the 2010 survey found that 80 percent of the companies in the pilot program tracked their carbon emissions, and half of those companies externally reported their data.
“The results clearly demonstrate that those high-impact suppliers that we had hoped were paying attention to greenhouse gas emissions in fact were doing so,” said Monique Oxender, global manager of Ford supply-chain sustainability. But she added that those results may not represent the broader global auto-supply base's readiness to track, report and manage carbon emissions.
Ford has been working with industry groups to help develop guidelines for estimating, collecting and reporting manufacturing facility-based greenhouse gas emission data. It is one of two carmakers working with the independent Carbon Disclosure Project and its CDP Supply Chain Program for 2011, which is looking at the impact across multiple industries.