Q&A: Highlights from the Sustainability Report with Kim Pittel

DEARBORN – Ford Motor Company released its annual Sustainability Report today themed "Our Future is in Motion." @FordOnline spoke with Kim Pittel, vice president of sustainability, environment & safety engineering, about the importance of this report and some if the key takeaways for employees. 

Q: What are some of the highlights from this year’s report?

A: The theme this year is “Our Future is in Motion,” and I am very excited about it, because we’re committing to strong aspirational goals that will help us make a positive impact on our business, communities where we live and work, and the planet, including:

  • We aspire to drive human progress by providing mobility and accessibility for all
  • We aspire to become the most inclusive and diverse enterprise globally
  • We aspire to responsibly source all raw materials used in our vehicles globally
  • We aspire to used only recycled and renewable plastics in our vehicles globally

To help us reach our aspirational goals, we set specific sustainability goals across the business as well:

  • We will use 100 percent renewable energy for all manufacturing plants globally by 2035
  • We will continue to do our share to reduce CO2 emissions consistent with the Paris Climate Accord. Our first Climate Change Scenario Report, published in tandem with the Sustainability Report, details our vision for the transition to a low-carbon economy and resilience in managing climate risk in the future
  • We will eliminate single-use plastics from our operations by 2030

Q: This is Ford’s 20th annual sustainability report. What are some of your favorite milestones from the last 20 years?

A: We have come a long way as a business, but our commitments to reducing our impacts on the planet and improving people’s lives has not changed. One area where we have led the industry is on renewable materials. We launched the 2008 Mustang with the first soy foam seats and headrests. Today, nearly 20 million vehicles in North America have them, and we are looking into other renewable or sustainable materials for our vehicles to help achieve our aspiration of using only recycled or renewable plastics in our vehicles globally.

I also am proud that we hit our manufacturing emissions reduction goal eight years ahead of schedule. In 2010, we set out to achieve a 30% reduction in GHG emissions per vehicle produced by 2025, and we hit that target in 2017. I truly believe that we can do great things when we work together across the business, and in this case, the manufacturing team has been a terrific partner in helping us reduce our impacts on the planet.

Finally, I am proud that we were included in Bloomberg’s Gender-Equality Index for the first time for our commitment to transparent gender reporting and advancing workplace equality.

Q: What is SHE-MOVES?

A: SHE-MOVES (Strengthening Her: Mobilizing Ventures for Social Innovation) is a grant program from Ford Motor Company and Ford Fund that is dedicated to empowering women to make a positive impact on their communities through mobility services.

We selected three inaugural grantees:

  • Zaclon India Pvt. Ltd. – trains more than 40 women in India to operate and maintain vehicles and support job placement, as well as train them in self-defense and women’s safety
  • Shuttlers – provides specialized shuttles along a frequently traveled route while facilitating a customized learning experience on board for at least 600 women over one year in Nigeria.
  • Uhambo Foundation – provides community-wide support, education and transportation related to disabilities and Whole Person Leadership Development in South Africa for parents, especially mothers

Q: If employees have ideas to improve sustainability at Ford, what can they do?

A: We welcome all ideas to make the company more sustainable! Employees have submitted all kinds of ideas already, from beehives to eliminating plastic from our cafeterias. If you have an idea to help the company, please send it to sustaina@ford.com. We also set up an employee survey to help us find more ideas inside the company.

Q: Where can we read the full report?

A: We publish the full report every year at http://sustainability.ford.com. Transparency in reporting is very important to our stakeholders, so please let us know if you have feedback.

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