Of all water on the planet, only about one per cent is easily accessible fresh surface water available for consumption by the almost eight billion humans that inhabit it. Approximately 97 per cent is salt water, while the majority of remaining freshwater is frozen in ice caps and glaciers, or difficult to access groundwater. Two decades ago, Ford set out to reduce its per-vehicle water usage by an astonishing 72 per cent.
By 2013, Ford had already saved more than 10 billion gallons of water. In perhaps more digestible terms, that’s the same as 15,000 competition-sized swimming pools, or over three hours forty minutes of thunderous Niagara Falls flow.
At Ford’s Chennai Vehicle Assembly and Engine Plant (CVAEP), freshwater consumption is down to an incredible 1.17 cubic meters per vehicle - from 7.3 cubic meters per vehicle only a decade ago. Having identified an alternate source of greywater to treat for use in non-production activities, the smart water efficiency processes see it recycle almost 100 per cent of industrial wastewater for use in manufacturing.
At Ford’s Sanand Vehicle Assembly and Engine Plant in Gujarat, there is zero water discharge with a 110,000 cubic meter rainwater harvesting pond used for pallet washing, irrigation, and with plans in place to replace the cooling tower’s water with rainwater, too.
Ford’s Global Business Technology and Business Center in Chennai (GTBC) can also claim zero discharge, thanks to its 100 per cent reuse of treated wastewater for dual plumbing, horticulture, and cooling tower chiller. Ford GTBC (since 2019) earned its Platinum green building rating at launch; the highest possible certification for sustainable buildings.
Similar efforts have been put in across Ford’s other manufacturing units globally.