“You will find men who want to be carried on the shoulders of others, who think that the world owes them a living. They don’t seem to see that we must all lift together and pull together.” - Henry Ford
When Henry Ford created the Model T in 1908 the cars engine was capable of running on gasoline, kerosene, or ethanol though the decreasing cost of gasoline and the later introduction of prohibition made ethanol an impractical fuel. Now after 100 years of fossil fuel dominance, Ford Motor Company is trying once again to be environmentally sound.
There may be more Eco-friendly materials and components than you realize in that new Ford you have been considering. For the past several years, Ford has concentrated on increasing the use of non-metal recycled and bio-based materials. Ford has diverted between 25 and 30 million pounds of plastic from landfills. In support of Ford’s global product development strategy, material engineers are developing standardized specifications for sustainable materials while working with parts purchasers and suppliers to use Eco-friendly components in different markets.
Starting early next year, the Ford Motor Company will release the next-generation Focus featuring used denim in the seats, carpet backing, and as sound-absorption materials for interior quietness.
The amount of post-consumer cotton from blue jeans used in each vehicle comes out to roughly two pairs of average-sized American jeans, based on pounds of cotton used per yard of denim and the yards of denim used to make a pair of jeans.
“One of our key goals is to use more recycled or renewable materials without compromising performance or durability,” said Carrie Majeske, Ford’s product sustainability manager. “Recycled content is a way to divert waste from landfills and reduce the impact of mining virgin material.”
“The good news is these jeans didn’t end up in a landfill, nor did we use the water, fertilizer and land to grow virgin cotton,” Majeske said. “It’s an alternative that our customers can appreciate, it’s cost effective, and it’s better for our planet. These are the kinds of sustainable solutions we are looking for in all our vehicles.”
This is just a neat use of old blue jeans that Ford has come up with, who would have thought. Some of the other ways Ford is going Eco-friendly are:
Bio-based (such as soy) polyurethane foams on the seat cushions, seat-backs and headliners on 11 vehicle models. The 2 million Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles on the road today with bio-foam seats equates to a reduction in petroleum oil usage of approximately 1.5 million pounds
Post-consumer recycled resins such as detergent bottles, tires and battery casings used to make under-body systems, such as aerodynamic shields, splash shields and radiator air deflector shields. The latest example is the engine cam cover on the 3.0-liter V-6 2010 Ford Escape.
Post-industrial recycled yarns for seat fabrics on vehicles such as the Ford Escape and Escape Hybrid. A 100 percent usage of recycled yarns can mean a 64 percent reduction in energy consumption and a 60 percent reduction in CO2 emissions compared to the use of new yarns
Re-purposed nylon carpeting made into nylon resin and molded into cylinder head covers for Ford’s 3.0-liter Duratec®engine. The industry’s first Eco-friendly cylinder head cover is used in the 2010 Ford Fusion and Escape
The automotive industry’s first application of wheat straw-reinforced plastic for the third-row storage bins of the 2010 Ford Flex. The natural fiber replaces energy-inefficient glass fibers commonly used to reinforce plastic parts
So it seems Ford Motor Company is serious about making an effort to be environmentally friendly and taking smart steps toward a sustainable future. It nice to see an American company take some initiative on reducing it’s impact on the planet.
Read more: The Ford Story
Photo: Henry Ford with his first automobile.