Ford kicks off supply chain sustainability push

Ford will start a project to survey its 35 top global supply chain partners to estimate their energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. Measurements are the first step in sustainability.

Ford said Thursday that it will start a project to survey its 35 top global supply chain partners to estimate their energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.

The effort by Ford signifies a common theme among enterprise sustainability efforts: Measurement matters. As noted by SAP chief sustainability officer Peter Graf earlier this week, companies are working to set baseline measurements to limit their carbon footprints. SAP's view is that information technology plays a big role in corporate sustainability efforts, which will be integrated with enterprise resource planning software.

At this stage, Ford is just trying to get a handle on its supply chain's carbon footprint. Ford's effort is to get some data that will turn into "a broad-based carbon management approach for its supply chain." Indeed, Ford's top 35 suppliers, which make everything from seats to steering systems to components, account for 30 percent of the company's $65 billion in procurement spending.

Ford noted suppliers from DuPont, TRW, Bosch and Johnson Controls are also conducting carbon audits.

Once Ford acquires the data from suppliers it will plug it into modeling software from PTC Insight. Ford is aiming to cut its greenhouse gasses by 30 percent by 2020 from the 2006 model year baseline. The data will also be shared with the World Resources Institute and World Business Council for Sustainable Development.

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This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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