Ford has today set itself a difficult target: the company intends to be carbon neutral by 2050.
Carbon neutrality in reality means, in Ford’s own words, “achieving zero carbon emissions by balancing such emissions with carbon removal.” However, you can’t go carbon neutral as a vehicle manufacturer simply by relying on removal projects, so Ford is focusing on three areas which it says makes up 95 percent of its carbon emissions. Those areas are vehicle use, supply base, and company facilities.
Bob Holycross, vice president, chief sustainability, environment and safety officer at Ford, explains, “We can develop and make great vehicles, sustain and grow a strong business and protect our planet at the same time – in fact, those ideals complement each other … We don’t have all the answers yet but are determined to work with all of our global and local partners and stakeholders to get there.”
Ford is certainly willing to embrace change and think outside the box. That’s what led the company to experiment with 3D printing and to work with McDonald’s to turn coffee chaff into car parts. We should expect more of the same when it comes to cutting emissions, and its Science Based Targets (SBT) initiative demonstrates there is at least a solid plan in place.
SBT is split into three Scopes. Scope 1 is direct emissions from company-owned or controlled sources, Scope 2 is indirect emissions (“generation of purchased electricity, steam, heating and cooling consumed by Ford”), and Scope 3 is emissions from vehicles Ford sells and from its supply base, so the companies producing the products and services Ford uses. Goals for each Scope will be set with the 2050 carbon neutral target in mind.
Clearly a shift to electric vehicles is going to play a major role in removing carbon emissions, and with that in mind Ford is investing $11.5 billion in their development by 2022. We should also expect to see many more zero-emission vehicles appearing, such as the Mustang Mach-E, Transit Commercial EV, and the F-150, all of which are set to be available within the next two years.