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Ford surveys suppliers to cut carbon emissions

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Ford surveys suppliers to cut carbon emissions

Automaker pledges a 30% reduction in greenhouse gases



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Ford, promising a 30% cut in greenhouse gases from its vehicles by 2020, is analyzing the emissions of its top suppliers to reduce their carbon footprint.

Ford is surveying the energy use and carbon emissions of its 35 biggest suppliers, including Johnson Controls and TRW Automotive Holdings, and aims to create a carbon-management plan for its supply chain, according to a statement Wednesday. The companies involved represent 30% of the $65 billion in auto parts Ford buys annually.

"There are huge opportunities for gaining efficiency and cost reduction," Monique Oxender, Ford's global manager of supplier sustainability, said in an interview. "This is essentially a waste. By becoming more efficient and using less energy you're able to reduce your costs."

Last month, the U.S. boosted automobile fuel-economy standards by about 30% in the first national regulations targeting the emissions, including carbon dioxide, that scientists link to global warming. Carmakers, which cooperated in setting the goals, have said they may meet the new standards with more efficient engines, transmissions, aerodynamics and air-conditioning systems, as well as hybrid and electric cars.

"Understanding the carbon footprint of our supply chain is a crucial part of our comprehensive global strategy to reduce greenhouse gases," Sue Cischke, Ford's group vice president of sustainability, said in a statement.

Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford has championed environmentalism at the company founded by his great-grandfather. He pushed for the 2004 introduction of the gasoline-electric Ford Escape, the first hybrid vehicle offered by a U.S. automaker.

He also backed the environmental overhaul of the Rouge factory in Ford's hometown of Dearborn.

None of the suppliers approached has refused to take part in the carbon survey, which is voluntary, Oxender said. There is "a huge range" of environmental efforts by suppliers, and some have more aggressive plans than Ford, she said.

Ford said it will share the data on its suppliers and consult with two environmental groups, the World Resources Institute and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.



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