Ford adds short-term emissions targets en route to 2050 carbon neutrality goal

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DETROIT — Ford Motor Co. on Wednesday announced new, shorter-term sustainability goals as it works to become carbon neutral by 2050.

The automaker said it hopes to cut greenhouse gas emissions from its global operations 76 percent by 2035, using 2017 figures as a starting point. Ford also hopes to cut the amount of greenhouse gas emissions from its vehicles 50 percent by 2035, using 2019 numbers as a starter.

Ford also reiterated plans to use 100 percent locally sourced, renewable electricity at all of its plants by 2035 and eliminate all waste to landfill from it facilities.

The automaker detailed the goals in its annual sustainability report.

“Ford has always been about building a better world, where people have the freedom to move and pursue their dreams,” John Lawler, the company’s CFO, said in a statement. “Success in sustainability requires a financially healthy business, and financial health depends on effectiveness in sustainability areas. Combining those topics in a single report reflects that, more than ever, investors and other stakeholders want to know not only what you plan to do, but what you’re accomplishing and how you’re managing risks along the way.”

The company has placed an emphasis on reducing emissions for some time. It was among the first automakers in 2019 to break with the Trump administration and back California’s more stringent emissions standards, and executives have said consistently it would remain committed to the goals of the Paris climate agreement after the Trump administration withdrew from it.

Last year, according to its report, Ford’s average fuel economy in the U.S. ticked up to 29.9 mpg, from 29 mpg in 2019. Ford trucks improved to 28.4 mpg compared with 26.8 mpg last year.

The company expects a slew of new electric vehicles and hybrids will help it reach its goals.

Ford announced earlier this year it would roughly double planned outlays on electrified vehicles to $22 billion through 2025. Lawler said then that a “majority” of the $22 billion dedicated to EVs would be spent on battery-electric models, although he declined to say how many Ford plans to add to its lineup. The automaker plans to add an E-Transit van late this year in the U.S., and an electric F-150 pickup next year.

In Europe, Ford said earlier this year it will sell only full-electric passenger cars there by 2030 and will invest $1 billion in a new electric vehicle manufacturing center at its factory in Cologne, Germany, as part of the electric-only transformation.

Ford also said last year its facilities around the world sent approximately 17,469 metric tons of waste to landfill, 36 percent less than in 2019. It wants to reduce absolute freshwater use by 15 percent by 2035 and says that it’s saved more than 12.5 billion gallons of water since 2000.

The sustainability report also detailed the automaker’s push to manufacture personal protective equipment amid the coronavirus pandemic, known as Project Apollo.

Ford said that to date, it’s made nearly 160 million face masks, more than 20 million face shields, 1.6 million washable isolation gowns, 50,000 patient ventilators partnered with GE Healthcare and more than 32,000 powered air-purifying respirators partnered with 3M. Its philanthropic arm has donated more than $1.13 million to virus-related relief programs.

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