Ford Motor Company’s actions to increase energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from its facilities have earned it the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star 2007 Partner of the Year Award in Energy Management. Ford is the first automaker to receive the award two years in a row.
In 2006, Ford improved energy efficiency in the U.S. by 5 percent resulting in savings of approximately $25 million. Since 2000, Ford’s U.S. facilities have improved energy efficiency by 25%, equivalent to the amount of energy consumed by 220,000 homes.
The Partner of the Year Award recognizes efforts to use energy efficiently in facility operations and to integrate superior energy management into overall organizational strategy. Significant achievements that led to Ford’s award include extensive lighting replacement programs throughout Ford’s properties and improved paint processes.
Ford replaced lighting fixtures with ones that use 40% less energy and converted incandescent lights to low-energy, long-lasting compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) across much of its portfolio of properties - corporate offices, research and development campuses, distribution centers and plants - totaling more than 26 million square feet.
One particular project entails replacing lights at all 22 of Ford’s parts distribution centers in the U.S., equating to a 50% energy savings in lighting.
Ford was also cited for developing promising new technology in its paint shops, historically the largest energy users within auto plants. Ford’s new Paint Shop of the Future, being piloted at the Ohio Assembly Plant, consolidates the application of primer, base and clearcoat into a single step. By eliminating the need for separate applications, spray booths and ovens, Ford is realizing significant energy and cost savings.
In addition, the patent-pending Fumes-to-Fuel process developed by Ford and Detroit Edison, converts paint fumes into electricity that is returned to the plant power grid.