Stakeholder Review of Report
For this Sustainability Report, as with our previous 10 reports, Ford agreed to work with a stakeholder team selected by Ceres to advise us. Ceres leads a national coalition of investors, environmental organizations and other public interest groups working with companies to address sustainability challenges.
About the Ceres Stakeholder Committee
The Ceres Stakeholder Committee, which was convened in March 2017, is an independent group of individuals drawn primarily from the Ceres coalition and representing a range of constituencies that have expertise in environmental, social and governance issues. Committee members provided feedback and recommendations associated with Ford’s assessment of the relative importance of financial, environmental, social and governance issues, and its sustainability performance and disclosure with respect to these issues.
As in previous dialogues, Ford was not expected to act upon all the stakeholder recommendations prior to publishing this Sustainability Report. Rather, stakeholders ask us to use these recommendations to help guide continuous, near-term progress toward achieving sustainability objectives.
Any aspects of these recommendations that were not responded to in this report will be included for consideration in our integrated sustainability workstream, considered for future action and reporting, and treated as an input to our materiality analysis process.
Response to Recommendations
Recommendation: Demonstrate leadership in responding to the climate challenge.
We continue to be committed to doing our share to stabilize the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, helping mitigate the progression of temperature rise. This is reflected in our strong focus on developing effective solutions through a multi-stakeholder, multi-sector approach, and on reducing climate-related impacts in our facilities and products. This includes our significant investment in electric vehicles and their associated infrastructure (see Delivering Our Electrification Plans and Alternative Fuels and Powertrains).
Recommendation: Demonstrate leadership as a steward of human and natural resources.
This year, we have developed our reporting to incorporate the UN Guiding Principles Reporting Framework for the first time. We see this as the start of a journey; having met the minimum threshold in this initial effort to show how we respect human rights in practice, we are looking to answer more of the supporting questions and improve the quality of our responses over time.
In addition, we continue to communicate about Ford’s work in multi-sector initiatives to strengthen our supply chain and combat human rights violations (see Human Rights and Working Conditions) and to promote diversity within our supply chain (see Supplier Diversity).
To further demonstrate our leadership efforts to act as a steward for natural resources, we help our key suppliers identify responsible environmental practices through our Partnership for A Cleaner Environment (PACE) program (see Partnering for the Planet With Suppliers and Environmental Impact of Our Suppliers); and to expand our use of recycled and renewable materials, including research partnerships exploring the viability of innovative new biomaterials (see Using Sustainable Materials).
Recommendation: Demonstrate leadership in sustainability strategy and disclosure.
Our sustainability strategy is focused on creating value for the business and broader society, and is integrated into how we operate, both strategically and on a day-to-day level. We use a formal materiality process to define and prioritize our key issues, most recently conducted in 2016 and early 2017. This year, we included an additional layer showing the relationships between sustainability issues in our latest materiality matrix.
Recommendation: Enhance reporting to demonstrate a customer-centric approach to safety and security.
Safety continues to be one of the highest priorities in the design of our vehicles. We are committed to designing and manufacturing vehicles that achieve high levels of safety over a wide range of real-world conditions.
Our quality policy (Policy Letter 1) forms the foundation, and stresses the importance, of quality in everything we do, noting that “the customer defines quality.” And our corporate safety policy, Policy Letter 7, outlines our commitment to design and build vehicles that meet or exceed applicable laws and regulations, while meeting the safety needs and expectations of our customers. In line with our policy letters, Ford is continuously working to enhance the safety of our products, a fundamental aspect of our Quality Operating System (QOS).
Having become the first automaker to join the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC), we began using the EICC’s audit protocol for our social audits this year. We conducted 31 new audits using the new methodology, which covers health and safety, labor issues, management systems, ethics and the environment.
In addition, we are committed to respecting customer privacy, protecting their data and using it responsibly. We take our responsibilities extremely seriously and have established a companywide governance infrastructure to drive a holistic approach to the stewardship, privacy and security of the data entrusted to us. This includes having policies and directives in place to ensure the continuing confidence of those who entrust us with their personal information. We are also a founding member of the Auto-ISAC (Information Sharing and Analysis Center), which gathers, analyzes and shares information about cyber-related threats and vulnerabilities.