Ford is expanding its program that helps suppliers improve their environmental management, growing the Partnership for A Cleaner Environment (PACE) program company participants to more than 40 in two years.
PACE, which originally focused on water and energy conservation, now also offers best practices for reducing waste, carbon dioxide and air emissions.
Through the program, Ford offers best practices and monitoring tools to help its suppliers track and achieve their own sustainability goals. In return, the suppliers report their environmental progress and share their own best practices.
Participating suppliers are on track to save an estimated 550 million gallons of water over the next five years, according to data collected in 2016. Additionally, current suppliers participating in PACE could reduce their carbon emissions by nearly 500,000 metric tons globally in the next five years, Ford says.
There’s also a strong business case for reducing supply chain emissions: a CDP report published in January found major companies’ supply-chain emissions reduction initiatives saved suppliers a combined $12.4 billion in 2016.
Ford provides suppliers with a PACE toolkit, which includes more than 350 leading practices across four categories: energy, water, air emissions and waste.
While varying in effort, leading practices include optimizing cooling tower operation, reducing compressed air usage in manufacturing operations and eliminating single-pass cooling systems. In addition to larger-scale projects, even the simplest leading practices, such as replacing incandescent lightbulbs with LED bulbs, also help conserve resources.
Also among Ford’s leading practices are Energy Treasure Hunts, which allow suppliers to use experts in their own facilities to identify additional opportunities to save resources. Suppliers are encouraged to share their findings with their own supply chain and Ford.
Ford supplier DENSO, which operates in 38 countries, has been participating in PACE since the program began in 2014. So far, DENSO has set targets for carbon-dioxide reductions in its manufacturing processes. The global supplier also focuses on cutting back electricity and water use with highly efficient equipment. This has meant installing closed circuit cooling systems and replacing metal halide lights with T-8 LED lighting.
Ford’s announcement follows several other sustainable supply chain initiatives in recent months.
Earlier this month Wendy’s said 100 additional suppliers must now comply with its environmentally sustainable business practices now that the company has expanded its Supplier Code of Conduct.
Last month VF Corporation, whose brands include The North Face, Timberland, Wrangler and Lee, published its first-ever Forest Derived Materials Policy, which sets purchasing guidelines and commits the company and its suppliers to using sustainable forest materials and products.
Also in February, Gore Fabrics said it will eliminate perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) of environmental concern from its products by 2023 and it is working with its suppliers to accomplish this.
Additionally, Walmart is working with its suppliers to reduce CO2e emissions from upstream and downstream scope 3 sources by 1 billion metric tons (1 gigaton) between 2015 and 2030. The retail giant’s supply chain emissions represent about 95 percent of Walmart’s overall carbon footprint.