It's not exactly about cars, but Ford Motor's latest Sustainability Report might matter to people who are rethinking not just the products they use but the companies that make them, perhaps more so now in light of the crisis in the Gulf of Mexico.
In its latest report, Ford says it cut water use by 16% last year and became the first automaker to join a global program to help establish a water disclosure protocol for companies around the world.
Other accomplishments that Ford touts in the study include cutting CO2 emissions in 2009 model vehicles by 12% versus a 2006 baseline. The company says it is on schedule to cut CO2 emissions by 30% in vehicles by 2020.
In the report, which details the automaker's efforts around climate change, fuel economy, mobility, vehicle safety and human rights, Ford says it has introduced the four-cylinder EcoBoost engine to Europe and China; inked a partnership with Coulomb Technologies for a free installation of in-home ChargePoint stations for Ford's first electric vehicle customers under the Ford Blue Oval ChargePoint Program; launched its fifth hybrid car, the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid, which the company asserts will prove to be the most fuel-efficient luxury sedan in North America; has elaborated on plans for five new electric or hybrid vehicles for the North America and Europe markets by 2013; and collaborated with Microsoft on energy-management software for plug-in electric vehicles.
Ford worked with a group called Ceres, a sustainable-business practices group comprising investors, environmental groups and other public interest organizations to develop the study. Ford issued its first Corporate Citizenship Report in 1999.
How ethical a company actually is can be hard to judge. However, one for-profit company, Ethisphere, gave Ford kudos this year as most-ethical car maker. Toronto-based "clean capitalism" magazine Corporate Knights numbers among its list of "Global 100" most-sustainable companies GE, Pacific Gas and Electric, Siemens, Nokia, Unilever, and Vodafone. Toyota is the only automaker on that list.