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Ford, Volkswagen Set Environmental Targets

Automaker Ford has committed to reducing its water usage per vehicle by 30 percent by 2015 against a 2009 baseline, while Volkswagen has announced that it intends to reduce the environmental impacts of its factories by 25 percent by 2018, compared to 2010 levels.

Ford’s latest water reduction initiatives are designed to build on its Global Water Management Initiative that launched in 2000. Between 2000 and 2010, Ford reduced its global water use by 62 percent, or 10.5 billion gallons – equivalent to the annual water use of 105,000 American residences, based on EPA figures.

If Ford meets its water reduction target, the amount of water used to make a vehicle will have dropped from 9.5 cubic meters in 2000 to approximately 3.5 cubic meters in 2015.

VW’s target applies to the energy consumption, waste volumes, air-borne emissions, water consumption and carbon dioxide emissions of its plants, the German car giant said. The move is part of the company’s “Think Blue. Factory.” initiative, which is a factory-specific extension of VW’s “Think Blue.” environmental program.

Only a few weeks ago, the new Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tenn., became the first automobile factory in the country to receive platinum LEED certification.

The plant’s paint shop is expected to save 50 million gallons of water over 10 years, and special insulation is estimated to save 720,000 kWh per year.

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