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Using Sustainable Materials

Through our global materials strategy, we are increasingly using materials that are more sustainable from a total life cycle perspective, including recycled, renewable and recyclable materials, and working to decrease or eliminate less sustainable materials.

Our Sustainable Materials Strategy

Ford continues to be a leader in the research, development and integration of more sustainable, bio-based and recycled content in our vehicles. We aspire to choose materials that have been obtained by socially sustainable means, that have lower environmental impacts and that provide equivalent or superior performance to existing materials. Aspects to consider include a material’s origin (virgin, renewable or recycled), the methods used to source and process it, the emissions generated throughout its life cycle and its application.

The choice of materials is an important factor in a vehicle’s sustainability, across all life cycle stages and throughout our value chain. It can influence vehicle safety, fuel economy and performance, as well as the options for recycling or reusing components at the end of a vehicle’s life. We continue to reduce the number of materials we use, and prioritize locally sourced materials where we can to reduce their carbon footprint.

Our holistic view of the materials used in our vehicles involves:

  • Increasing use of recycled materials
  • Continuing to develop and implement plant-based renewable materials
  • Eliminating substances of concern
  • Addressing any health impacts of some materials
  • Addressing end-of-life impacts (i.e., landfilling) through improved recyclability
  • Working with environmentally and socially responsible suppliers
  • Continuing research on closed-loop recycling and second life use of components
  • Partnering with other industries and the farming community to utilize their by-products

What’s in a Typical Vehicle?

  • Up to 40,000 parts...
  • 1,000 different materials...
  • 10,000 chemical substances...

75% Metals (steel, aluminum, magnesium and titanium)

17% Plastics, Elastomers, Textiles and Natural Materials

4% Fuels and Consumable Liquids (engine oil, lubricants)

3% Electronics, Ceramics, Glass and Other Compounds

1% Miscellaneous (paint, adhesives, sealants, etc.)