Ford Sustainability

Drew Skundrich
December 19, 2016

Submitted as coursework for PH240, Stanford University, Fall 2016


Fig. 1: Ford Reflex Concept Car. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Global climate change is occurring right before our eyes and we are the main cause of the problem. We have recognized and begun to act on decreasing the amount of GHG emissions in several ways, including reducing CO2 emissions from cars. There are global initiatives such as the European Union attempting to reduce emissions through fuel use. [1] Ford has taken a stance on the issue as they are trying to implement new technologies in their cars to reduce CO2 emissions. Their goals include reducing facility CO2 emissions by 30% from 2010 to 2025 and average energy consumed per vehicle by 25% from 2011 to 2016 globally. Thus far, they have reduced CO2 emissions from their global operations in 2013 by 9 percent per vehicle produced, compared to 2012. They also noted that Ford electric vehicle customers drove over 114 million all-electric miles as of late April 2014, for a net CO2 reduction of nearly 8 million kgs compared to gasoline-powered driving. Their progress is on the right path and can continuously improve with new technologies. They introduced an EcoBoost engine to several of their cars as an alternate choice for customers in order to reduce GHG emissions even more. Ford has also reduced water usage in their facilities starting in 2000. By 2013, they reduced their total global water use by 61 percent, or more than 10 billion gallons. They are also experimenting with concept cars that can utilize solar panels for energy and a sleek design that reduces drag.

Ford Reflex

Fig. 2: Ford Reflex Concept Car. Solar cells will be inside the back window for powering a fan. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

The Ford Reflex (shown in Figs. 1 and 2) is a concept car thats primary focus is to reduce GHG emissions significantly. The car has seats for 3 passengers and has a small look but relatively big feel on the inside. It has a turbocharged diesel engine that can experience high speeds due to a high rpm of 6,000. Its hybridness is set at 52% and is conceptually able to achieve 65 miles per gallon. The Reflex also has built in solar cells that will help power a fan to keep the inside of the car cool. [2] The solar cells will unfortunately not be strong enough to fuel the engine of the car, but adding them for cooling purposes still reduces GHG emissions. The concept car has large wheels and high ground clearance that add to the relatively big feel for a small car. One of its unique features is that it uses recycled Nike trainers for reducing sound. [3] The Ford Reflex is still a concept car but demonstrates the possibilities and likeliness that environmentally friendly, fashionable cars will soon increase production for the general public.


Ford has shown progress in reducing GHG emissions to the desired levels. If they continue to think of innovative technology that would be beneficial to use, these figures can reduce even more than expected, which would help conserve energy and make the environment more sustainable.

© Drew Skundrich. The author grants permission to copy, distribute and display this work in unaltered form, with attribution to the author, for noncommercial purposes only. All other rights, including commercial rights, are reserved to the author.


[1] F. An, and A. Sauer, "Comparison of Passenger Vehicle Fuel Economy and Greenhouse Gas Emission Standards Around the World," Pew Center for Global Climate Change, December 2004.

[2] A. E. Fuhs, Hybrid Vehicles and the Future of Personal Transportation (CRC Press, 2008).

[3] I. Norris, Automobile Year 2006/07 (Christian Philippsen, 2006).