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Ford to Cut Landfill Waste 70%, Water 30% in Europe

Ford’s European operations plan to cut landfill waste 70 percent and water use 30 percent under a five-year sustainability strategy.

The waste reduction goal will cut the average landfill waste generated per vehicle from 5 kg in 2011 to 1.5 kg by 2016. The water target will save 1.3 billion liters a year and €2.3 million over five years, based on annual production of 1.2 million vehicles, Ford says.

The company says the targets build on previous actions that helped Ford of Europe become the corporation’s lowest producer of landfill waste, cutting such generation by 40 percent since 2007. The European business reduced water use by 37 percent over the same period.

In a recent water initiative at Ford’s Cologne factory, a new production line and new manufacturing techniques for the 1.0 liter EcoBoost engine reduced water use by 37 percent. In one part of the process, coolant use fell from two liters to five milliliters, the company said.

Ford’s plants in Cologne, Genk in Belgium and Saarlouis in Germany are already waste-to-landfill free, the company says. The new commitment covers those plants as well as Ford’s facility in Valencia, Spain, and factories in Southampton, Bridgend and Dagenham in the U.K.

Across its global operations, Ford has committed to reducing its water usage per vehicle by 30 percent by 2015 against a 2009 baseline

In January, competitor GM committed to reduce its facilities’ energy intensity and carbon intensity by 20 percent, and water intensity by 15 percent, all by 2020, in its first sustainability report since re-organizing in 2009. GM has been moving both manufacturing and non-manufacturing sites to zero-waste.

And last July, Honda said it achieved zero waste to landfill status at ten of its 14 plants in North America, with the remaining plants achieving a “virtually zero” level.

Ford of Europe sells vehicles in 51 individual markets, operating 22 manufacturing facilities (including joint ventures) and employing about 66,000 people.

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