Ford’s Commitment to Sustainability

August 30th, 2023 by

Ford, a renowned player in the automobile landscape, is steering the industry towards a greener path. Their pioneering move involves incorporating 100% recycled ocean plastics into their vehicle manufacturing process. This isn’t just a change in production materials; it’s a testament to Ford’s commitment to driving sustainability in the auto industry.

A Remarkable Transformation

Furthermore, consider this scenario: within Ford Bronco Sport models, the unremarkable components known as wiring harness clips have undergone a transformation. These once inconspicuous parts, now crafted from plastic sourced from the ocean, commonly referred to as “ghost gear,” possess an astonishing feature. Despite their unorthodox origin, these clips exhibit identical strength and resilience compared to their traditional petroleum-derived counterparts. What adds to the intrigue is that these innovative clips are accompanied by a compelling advantage: a 10% reduction in costs. Even more impressive is the substantial decrease in energy demands during the production process.

Leading the Sustainability Charge

Jim Buczkowski, VP of Research and Henry Ford Technical Fellow, encapsulates it aptly: “This is another example of Ford leading the charge on sustainability.” These seemingly minor clips represent a significant step towards Ford’s ambitious goal of incorporating recycled ocean plastics into other car parts across various models.

Tackling Ocean Plastic Pollution

A staggering 13 million metric tons of plastic find their way into our oceans annually, causing extensive damage to marine ecosystems and coastlines. The fishing industry’s reliance on plastic gear exacerbates the issue, leading to the creation of “ghost nets.” These abandoned nets contribute to almost 10% of all sea-based plastic waste, endangering marine life.

Ford’s Ingenious Solution

Ford’s ingenious solution involves repurposing ocean plastics for car parts. Take, for instance, the wiring clips in the Bronco Sport. Despite their seemingly inconspicuous role, these clips endure saltwater exposure and sunlight remarkably well. Collected from the Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea, the plastic procurement process also generates job opportunities, fostering positive change on multiple fronts.

The Production Process

Moreover, the journey from discarded nylon fishing nets to functional car parts is a fascinating one. The nets are transformed into small pellets, which are then molded into clips by Ford’s supplier. And Ford’s commitment to innovation doesn’t stop there; the company has ambitious plans to expand the use of recycled ocean plastics to other vital components.

A Two-Decade Commitment

This isn’t Ford’s first tryst with recycled plastics. For more than twenty years, they’ve been utilizing recycled plastics from sources other than oceans to craft various car components. Notably, they’ve ingeniously employed recycled water bottles to create lightweight, noise-reducing underbody shields for the 2020 Ford Escape.

Paving the Way for Change

Ford’s incorporation of recycled ocean plastics into its production process is a game-changer for the automobile industry. It resonates with global efforts to clean up oceans and reduce the burden on landfills. This step speaks volumes about Ford’s dedication to innovation, not only in the realm of vehicles but also in championing a more sustainable world.

A Positive Ripple Effect

As Ford takes this environmentally-conscious leap, industry experts and consumers are watching closely. The potential positive impact on the environment, the automobile sector, and society as a whole is immense. Ford’s commitment to sustainability practices paints a promising picture for a future where responsible production is the driving force behind the industry’s growth.