Ford Motor Company's actions to reduce the amount of energy used to manufacture vehicles and support its U.S. operations have earned it the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's coveted 2010 ENERGY STAR Award for the fifth consecutive year.
The 2010 ENERGY STAR Award for Sustained Excellence recognizes Ford's continued leadership and commitment to protecting the environment through energy efficiency.
In 2009, Ford improved energy efficiency in the U.S. by 4.6 percent resulting in savings of approximately $15 million. Actual savings due to plant shutdowns were higher, but Ford measures energy efficiency as energy consumed per vehicle. Since 2000, Ford's U.S. facilities have improved energy efficiency by more than 30 percent. That's equivalent to the annual energy consumed by more than 110,000 homes.
"More than ever, we at Ford Motor Company are committed to the responsible use of resources," said George Andraos, director, Energy and Manufacturing Site Management. "Partnering with ENERGY STAR is an essential component of Ford's plan to become economically, environmentally and socially sustainable."
Energy efficiency enablers include innovative technology solutions, replication of best practices and nonproduction shutdowns. A number of actions taken by Ford since 2000 have contributed to its overall energy efficiency improvement, including:
——Using flexible tooling to assemble multiple vehicles on the same production line, which requires less manufacturing floor space and optimizes plant utilization
——Updated facility lighting systems by replacing inefficient high-intensity discharge fixtures with up-to-date fluorescent lights and control systems
——Upgraded paint process systems including booth air handling and improved emission controls
——Continued development of Ford's "Paint Shop of the Future" processes, including Fumes-to-Fuel that turns paint fumes into electricity, the 3-Wet painting process that significantly reduces the footprint and energy use of paint booths, and zirconium oxide pretreatment that uses less energy to inhibit surface corrosion
——Installed advanced computer controls on all North American plant air compressors for paint shop applications and pneumatic tools
——Initiated a PC Power Management program to improve global energy efficiency with an estimated reduction in the company's carbon footprint of between 16,000 and 25,000 metric tons annually
——Initiated the plan for the recently announced "Go Green" Dealership Sustainability Program to improve the energy efficiency of Ford and Lincoln Mercury dealerships
——Aggressively curtailing energy use during extended production shutdown periods
——Leveraging the ENERGY STAR program through employee energy awareness communications and events, development of energy modeling and analysis tools, and replication of industry best practices
——Updated heating systems at many manufacturing facilities by replacing outmoded steam powerhouses with digitally controlled direct-fired natural gas air handler
Ford has shared these and other energy efficiency practices with its global industrial partners and coached its regional operations to use ENERGY STAR guidelines as a foundation for sustainable energy management processes.