Ford announces new carbon neutral targets

The carmaker announced its plans to go carbon neutral in June 2020.

April 2, 2021, 5:04 AM

Ford has announced two new environmental sustainability targets as part of its goal to become carbon neutral by 2050, in line with the Paris Climate Agreement.

The targets are part of the automaker's first-ever combined sustainability and financial report.

"The integrated report underscores what we do to achieve our goals for the environment," Cynthia Williams, global director for sustainability, homologation and compliance at Ford Motor Company, told ABC Radio. "It's also the social matters and governance. It's vital for success on behalf of all of our key stakeholders as we move forward. I think combining those is key to success for Ford."

In June 2020, Ford announced plans to go carbon neutral, meaning that the number of emissions released by the company will be reduced or offset by renewable energy, carbon sequestration or carbon credits.

Ford plans to reduce scope 1 and scope 2 emissions from operations by 76%, based on 2017 emissions, and scope 3 emissions from all of the company's products by 50%, based on 2019 emissions, by 2035.

Scope 1 emissions include emissions directly controlled by Ford, like the buildings and company vehicles. Scope 2 emissions are indirect emissions, such as the electricity used to power offices or manufacturing buildings, while scope 3 is all the emissions from its supply chain.

The scope 1 and 2 targets are aligned with the Paris Climate Agreement.

PHOTO: Ford F150 trucks go through the customer acceptance line at the Ford Truck Plant in Dearborn, Mich., Sept. 27, 2018.
Ford F150 trucks go through the customer acceptance line at the Ford Truck Plant in Dearborn, Mich., Sept. 27, 2018.
Bill Pugliano/Getty Images, FILE

"We've always been grounded in science and we've been committed to climate change, and so developing a carbon-neutral strategy is just part of what we've done to continue to align with our Paris Agreement," said Williams.

The two new targets are endorsed by the Science-Based Targets Initiative, a collaboration between U.N. agencies, businesses and industry leaders that help companies set emission reduction targets.

Ford says it wants to focus on three main areas to reduce emissions: car production, company facilities and suppliers.

The company plans to invest $22 billion in electric vehicles through 2025. That includes electrifying some of its most popular cars.

"Expanding our EV plan is part of our solution to [become] carbon neutral by 2050. It's key and I think doubling our investment to EV (electric vehicle) technology and infrastructure ... is just an example of what we're doing to make sure that we stay on the path to get to carbon neutrality," said Williams.

To reduce global emissions at Ford facilities, the company has set a goal to use 100% locally sourced renewable energy by 2035. Ford says its Michigan assembly plants in Dearborn and Wayne, along with its research, engineering and Corktown campuses, will meet this goal by January 2022.

PHOTO: Ford Motor Co. headquarters stands in Dearborn, Mich., July 15, 2019.
Ford Motor Co. headquarters stands in Dearborn, Mich., July 15, 2019.
Bloomberg via Getty Images, FILE

To reduce emissions from its suppliers, Ford says it plans to work with suppliers to understand its collective environmental footprint, help selected suppliers reduce emissions by using its Partnership for A Cleaner Environment program and continue to collaborate with partners in the automotive industry to lower supplier emissions.

But Williams says Ford knows it cannot achieve these goals alone.

"We need partnerships with our suppliers, public-private partners, with the utilities and the like to make sure that we can realize these goals," said Williams.