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More than a decade ago, Ford Motor Company announced that it would work to reduce water consumption at its manufacturing facilities worldwide through its Global Water Management Initiative. Fast forward to 2012, and the company has certainly made an impact.
Since 2000, Ford has reduced its total amount of water used from 64 million cubic meters to 24 million cubic meters. “That’s about 10.6 billion gallons of water that was conserved and went to use somewhere else,” said Andy Hobbs, director, Environmental Quality Office.
The initiative closely examines new ways to manage water conservation, quality and reuse of storm and process water.
Why the number 1,056 is important
In accordance with its goal to reduce water consumption by 30 percent per vehicle by 2015, Ford strives to build each car by using just 1,056 gallons of water. To put it in perspective, fire trucks are required to hold 1,000 gallons in their tanks.
“Ford recognizes the critical importance of water, and is committed to conserving water and using it responsibly,” says Robert Brown, vice president, Sustainability, Environment and Safety Engineering. “Many vehicle manufacturing processes require water and the resource is used at every point in our supply chain.”
Ford’s goals in water reduction center around these core principles:
- Minimizing water use and consumption at Ford facilities
- Finding ways to use alternative, lower-quality water sources
- Prioritizing water technology investments based on local water scarcity and cost effectiveness
- Meeting either local quality standards or Ford global standards for wastewater discharge – whichever is more stringent at each Ford location
- Ensuring a stable water supply for Ford manufacturing facilities while working with local communities to minimize impact