Strategy and Governance > 

Prioritizing Key Issues

We use a formal materiality process to define our reporting priorities, identify emerging sustainability issues, shape our sustainability strategy, set goals and allocate resources. The resulting priority topics are captured in a matrix, providing a snapshot of the challenges, opportunities and connections between the sustainability issues of most importance to our business and of highest concern to our stakeholders.

Materiality Results

Our most recent materiality analysis, conducted in 2016 and early 2017, is reflected in the matrix below.

Our most important issues were identified as being:

  • Ethical business practices
  • Product carbon footprint and fuel economy
  • Customer satisfaction, product quality and safety
  • Supply chain management, assessment, capacity building and performance
  • Government regulation and policy

To enhance our two-dimensional matrix this year, we included an additional layer showing linkages between sustainability issues.

Our Materiality Matrix

Our materiality matrix plots each issue and the ratings accorded to it. The y-axis represents the importance to stakeholders and the x-axis represents increasing importance to Ford from left to right. Issues found closer to the upper right-hand corner of the matrix are of higher importance to Ford and stakeholders.

In some instances, two material issues have received the same rating and are therefore shown at the same location on the matrix.

Material issues are grouped by focus area:

  •  Financial
  •  Environment
  •  Human
  •  Social
  •  Governance

Financial health, intellectual property protection and brand perception

Ensuring profitable operations with effective cost and risk management, including intellectual property protection, and positive brand perception of the company and its products.

Mobility, product and service innovation

Develop and explore new models for sustainable mobility, including vehicle-to-infrastructure communications, non-vehicles or multimodal mobility systems, and new ownership models. Introduce lower-carbon vehicles capable of using lower-carbon fuels.

Product carbon footprint and fuel economy

Fuel use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from Ford vehicles in use.

Air quality

Impacts of Ford’s products and operations on local air quality, including smog-forming emissions.

Operations and logistics energy use and GHG emissions

Energy used and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions generated by Ford’s own direct and indirect operations and logistics.

Climate change resilience strategy and energy future

Assessing and responding to climate-related risks to product strategy, facilities and physical infrastructure, supply chain, regulatory environment, consumer demand, etc., and ensuring access to affordable, reliable and sustainable energy for our business and customers.

Water use

Water use, management, treatment and discharge by Ford’s operations. Assessment and mitigation of regional impacts of Ford and Ford suppliers’ water use on local communities based on levels of water stress, availability and quality.

Sustainable materials and waste management

Use of sustainable materials in vehicles, including recycled, renewable and recyclable materials. Management of vehicle end-of-life and recycling, operational waste, and non-greenhouse gas emissions and effluents.

Environmental management, process innovation and biodiversity

Effective environmental management systems for production and product development, considering life cycle assessment of products and process innovations, and management of direct and indirect impact on habitats and ecosystems.

Human rights

Ensuring human rights are respected throughout our operations and supply chain in line with our expectations and local law.

Human capital

Building an effective, diverse and capable workforce including talent attraction and retention, employee and leadership development, fostering a collaborative environment and corporate culture, employee engagement, workforce planning, compensation labor relations and collective bargaining, diversity and inclusion and decent work.

Employee wellness, health and safety

Providing a healthy and safe working environment for employees, contractors and visitors.

Supply chain management, assessment, capacity building and performance

Effective communication of expectations, understanding and mitigation of potential risks to ensure continuity of supply, capacity building and improved performance.

Customer satisfaction, product quality and safety

Customer satisfaction and the quality of Ford’s products including safety, performance issues, recalls and third-party ratings.

Customer privacy, data protection and understanding consumer behavior

Use of data science and analytics to better understand consumer behavior, while maintaining consumer privacy and security.

Sustainable cities and infrastructure

Meeting the demand and helping to shape sustainable transportation, cities and infrastructure.

Socio-economic contribution and community engagement

Supporting local communities through investment and constructive engagement, partnering for sustainable development and applying Ford’s technology to help address societal challenges.

Ethical business practices

Effective corporate governance to manage corruption and bribery, conflicts of interest and implement the code of conduct. Ensuring transparency and disclosure on performance, goals and challenges.

Government regulation and policy

Ensuring compliance with government regulation, policy and expectations.

Summary of Major Changes

In our latest analysis, some new issues emerged and others dropped out. In an attempt to streamline our issues of focus, we also reorganized and streamlined our material issues, reducing them in number from 34 to 19.

  • Product carbon footprint and fuel economy has increased in relative importance, becoming an issue of highest importance at the top-right of the matrix
  • Customer satisfaction, product quality and safety has also increased in importance, also becoming an issue of highest importance
  • Issues related to government regulation and policy (regulatory compliance, voluntary standards and certifications, fuel economy and GHG regulations, and other regulations/policy) have been grouped together at the top-right of the matrix
  • Human rights was previously incorporated as part of human capital management, but it has emerged as a highly important issue in its own right, both within Ford and among stakeholders