The Auto Channel
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
Official Website of the New Car Buyer

Ford Speaks About Its Sustainability "Mindset": Calls For Support For Integrated Approach To Co2 Reduction

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

LONDON, 15 February 2006 – Ford Motor Company has today spoken about its "mindset" change in tackling CO2 emissions from vehicles, and has called for greater support from all key stakeholders – vehicle manufacturers, customers, national governments, fuel suppliers and the European Commission – in adopting a more integrated approach to reducing CO2 from vehicles.

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

Speaking in London today at the European Petroleum industry's Europia conference, Lewis Booth, executive vice president for Ford Motor Company overseeing Ford of Europe and Premier Automotive Group, said the company acknowledged the importance of climate change and the responsibility to take action.

Ford's approach to sustainability is based on science and the recognition from a growing body of scientific evidence indicating that man-made CO2 emissions are starting to significantly influence the world’s climate.

"If we are to stabilise climate change and avert a potential catastrophe, we need to stabilise concentrations of atmospheric CO2 at acceptable levels," said Mr. Booth. "The debate continues, but experts broadly agree that we need to stabilise long-term CO2 concentrations at 550 parts per million, perhaps even lower."

"The scale of the challenge means that it's not enough to introduce two or three new environmental products and leave it at that. At Ford, we are fundamentally reassessing the way we do business, putting sustainability at the heart of everything we do.

"That requires nothing less than a complete and radical change of mindset: not only for Ford Motor Company, where we are undergoing this transformation, but for the whole auto industry," he commented.

Lewis Booth also called for greater support for a more holistic approach to the challenges raised by sustainable mobility, echoing the approach recently endorsed by the CARS 21 High Level Group under the chairmanship of GŁnter Verheugen, European Commissioner for Enterprise and Industry, and which included representatives from trades unions, NGOs, consumers, representatives of European Member States and MEPs, plus leaders from the automotive industry, including Mr. Booth.

"I believe that the challenges of sustainable mobility can only be properly addressed by an integrated approach: that is, a partnership of stakeholders which includes the automotive industry, the fuel industry, government at the national and European level, and consumers."

Mr. Booth also indicated that there was no single technological solution capable of addressing sustainable mobility concerns.

"The diversity of customer needs within and across markets is why we at Ford are investing in a portfolio of solutions across our brands and across regions to improve CO2 performance.

"These solutions include: clean diesel; advanced direct injection gasoline; weight stabilisation and reduction; alternative fuel vehicles (AFV), including flexible-fuel vehicles and developing, superior AFV technologies; hybrid powerpacks and research into plug-in hybrid technology; hydrogen internal combustion engines (ICE); and hydrogen fuel cells."

Mr. Booth also called on governments to increase investment in improved road and traffic management infrastructures, and to ensure that policy and incentives should be "technology neutral". That is, incentives should not favour one technology over another, but instead should target the outcome rather than the solution.

He also stated to the assembled audience, largely drawn from the oil industry, that the solution to carbon emissions from road vehicles will come from advances in fuel technology as well as vehicle technology.