In the past year, Ford Motor Company has reduced its use of paper made exclusively from virgin sources by 6,000 tons – the equivalent of a loaded freight train with two locomotives and 100 cars.
Those results were achieved through an increased use of paper from recycled content instead of virgin sources for all high-volume, consumer and employee printing projects. Beginning this year, about 2.2 million Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicle owner's manuals will be printed annually in the U.S. on paper containing at least 10 percent recycled fiber and certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). The effort supports Ford's comprehensive sustainability strategy.
"Increasing the use of recycled paper may sound like a small step for an automotive company, but the results have been anything but small," said John Viera, Ford's director of sustainability and environmental policy. "Ford is working to educate our employees, designers, printers and suppliers on the value of using FSC-certified paper and incorporating it into all of our projects."
The initiative has translated into several environmental benefits that helped save trees, reduce water and energy use, and lower CO2 emissions. These initiatives include:
According to the FSC, the U.S. is the largest market for paper products in the world, producing 90 million tons of paper annually and, in turn, consuming about 100 million tons. Using FSC-certified paper requires that wood products be sustainably handled from the forest where they were harvested to the pulp purchased by the paper mill and to the printer that manufactures the end project.
By using FSC-certified paper, Ford is supporting a range of sustainable benefits, such as reducing waste to landfills and ensuring that paper pulp is not harvested from endangered rainforest timber. Plus, FSC paper is produced domestically, supporting U.S. jobs. The FSC paper used by Ford is labeled as such in an ongoing effort to reinforce employee and consumer awareness of sustainable printing practices.
"Implementing our new paper strategy required changing the perceptions people had about FSC-certified paper being more expensive or not as readily available to printers," said Nicole DesNoyer, who led a small group, including key suppliers and Ford's Communications, Purchasing and Sustainability departments to advance the transition to recycled and certified sustainable paper. "The support there has been to make the change shows how serious Ford project managers and their suppliers are about incorporating sustainability actions to help create a better world."
In addition to reducing the amount of virgin paper the company uses, Ford employees have made a conscious effort to reduce overall paper use and increase paper recycling.
Ford's corporate sustainability strategy encompasses a wide range of efforts, such as the improved energy efficiency of its facilities around the world, the reduction of CO2 emissions of its vehicles, and accelerated development of more fuel-efficient and alternative-fuel vehicles. For additional information, see Ford's Blueprint for Sustainability at http://www.ford.com/about-ford/company-information/corporate-sustainability.