Blue is the New Green: How Ford is Saving Water

Craig Cole
by Craig Cole

Clean, safe water is a precious resource that’s easy to take for granted until you don’t have access to it. In recent years Ford has worked to dramatically reduce the amount of H2O consumed during vehicle development and production at its global facilities

Underscoring this push is an uncomfortable truth: about one in seven people around the world live without access to fresh drinking water.

While speaking at the company’s annual Trend Conference Todd Walton, manager of their environmental quality office said, “Ford has made significant progress in water conservation.” He pointed out that since the year 2000 they’ve reduced consumption by 62 percent. That equates to a savings of roughly 10.6 billion gallons.

The first steps Ford took to save water were enacted at their stamping and assembly plant in Cuautitlán, Mexico, which is located in a desert area. As a result of their efforts consumption was reduced by 58 percent between 2000 and 2013.

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The company is doing similar things at other facilities around the world. For instance they re-purpose all non-potable water at their plant in Chennai, Ind. “We recycle 100 percent of the waste water,” Walton said. They even collect rain during monsoon season to use it during dry spells.

To further this conservation effort Ford is planning on involving companies it does business. “Let’s share best practices with suppliers,” said Walton. If they can cut the amount of water consumed during the manufacture of vehicle components the savings can become even greater.

Years of pushing to conserve water has helped Ford top Interbrand’s Best Global Green Brands 2014 list; the Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker was number one, beating stiff competition from companies like Toyota, Honda and Nissan.

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Craig Cole
Craig Cole

Born and raised in metro Detroit, Craig was steeped in mechanics from childhood. He feels as much at home with a wrench or welding gun in his hand as he does behind the wheel or in front of a camera. Putting his Bachelor's Degree in Journalism to good use, he's always pumping out videos, reviews, and features for When the workday is over, he can be found out driving his fully restored 1936 Ford V8 sedan. Craig has covered the automotive industry full time for more than 10 years and is a member of the Automotive Press Association (APA) and Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA).

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