Strategy and Governance > 

Our Value Chain and Impacts

To create value and reduce our footprint, we need to assess and manage impacts across the life cycle.

Summary of Our Value Chain

Product Design

Material Issues

  • Addressing impacts at every stage of the automotive life cycle, from the use of natural resources and materials to product quality and safety

Value Creation

  • Innovation in engineering, design and tech to provide solutions to specific mobility, social and environmental challenges

Raw Material Extraction

Material Issues

  • Human rights/conflict minerals

Value Creation

  • Supply chain management


Material Issues

  • Fuel use and transport emissions

Value Creation

  • Supply chain management

Supply Chain Parts Manufacturing

Material Issues

  • Use of materials
  • Waste

Value Creation

  • Supply chain management

Ford Manufacturing

Material Issues

  • GHG emissions, water, waste, materials
  • Community impacts

Value Creation

  • Lean process innovations
  • Socio-economic contribution

Sales and Service

Material Issues

  • Social and environmental responsibility

Value Creation

  • Local employment
  • Recycling of used parts

Our Vehicles in Use

Material Issues

  • Product carbon footprint
  • Air quality and congestion

Value Creation

  • Affordable fuel economy, sustainable materials, etc.
  • Mobility solutions for tomorrow’s cities

End of Vehicle Life

Material Issues

  • Waste materials/landfill

Value Creation

  • Closed-loop processes
  • Recovery, reuse and recycling

Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the Vehicle Life Cycle

Greenhouse gases (GHGs) emitted by our vehicles on the road are by far the biggest part of our footprint and are generally determined by factors outside our control. These include our overall sales mix in any given year and, just as significantly, how our vehicles are driven. It is only possible to estimate emissions from the use phase, but in terms of facility GHG emissions, we have an accurate understanding based on tracking our actual energy consumption and other data.

2016 GHG Emissions From Ford Operations and Use of Sold Products

Million metric tons

Ford Facilities4.61
Use of Sold Products130.92
  1. Direct emissions, including those arising from our electricity production, and indirect emissions from purchased electricity, steam and heat.
  2. Emissions over 150,000 km for all passenger cars and other light-duty vehicles sold during the reporting year in the United States, Canada, Mexico, E.U., China, Australia, Brazil and India. Based on the Scope 3 definition of “use of sold products” in the World Resource Institute’s and World Business Council for Sustainable Development’s GHG Protocol.

GHG Footprint in Context

All main types of transportation together totaled around 23 percent of GHG emissions globally in 2014 (IEA, 2016, CO2 Emissions from Fuel Combustion Highlights 2016). Passenger cars and light-duty trucks, Ford’s primary products, made up about half of the 2013 total transportation GHG emissions on a well-to-wheels basis (IEA. Energy Technology Perspectives 2016. ETP2064 transport summary online data).

CO2 makes up the vast majority of GHG emissions produced by our operations and products. However, we are also working to understand and reduce non-CO2 GHG emissions such as HFCs, CH4 and N2O associated with our products.

Some GHG emissions we can control directly – for example, most of those from our own operations. However, our ability to influence and even measure decreases the further up and down our value chain we look.

Water Use in the Vehicle Life Cycle

Global water challenges including availability and access are closely linked to climate change and human rights issues. We are addressing these in our facilities, supply chain and community engagement.

To better assess Ford’s water footprint, we have estimated life cycle use for a model year 2012 Ford Focus – both the internal combustion engine vehicle (ICEV) and the battery electric vehicle (BEV).

Ford Focus 2012 – Estimated Life Cycle Water Use


 Life Cycle Water Withdrawal – Estimated U.S. AverageLife Cycle Water Consumption – Estimated U.S. Average
Ford Focus 2012 ICEV530130
Ford Focus 2012 BEV3,770170

Withdrawal is total water withdrawn that may or may not be returned to the source. Consumption is water withdrawn and not returned to the source.

The analysis includes water used in materials production, parts production, vehicle assembly, vehicle use (fuel production and distribution) and vehicle disposal at end of life. Both direct and indirect water usages were accounted for throughout the life cycle based on a lifetime driving distance of 160,000 miles.

The Focus ICEV use-phase analysis assumes the typical U.S. gasoline, which includes 10 percent ethanol (E10). The Focus BEV use-phase analysis assumes the U.S. average electric grid mix.

There is a relatively large water withdrawal associated with the BEV use phase, which reflects the substantial amount of water needed for cooling in coal, nuclear and natural gas power plants. In comparison, the water needed to produce petroleum fuels is much less.

During the use phase the car itself does not consume a lot of water. Under a life cycle analysis, however, one could take the view that the use phase is the most water-intensive due to the water used to produce the gasoline or electricity that powers the vehicle. This highlights the importance of reducing the water consumption associated with fuel production, as well as increasing vehicle energy effciency

In the supply chain, the production and processing of materials (e.g., steel and aluminum) require the most water. Identifying which portions of the supply chain are most water intensive allows us to better assess the business risk associated with using suppliers in potentially water-stressed areas

For a fuller analysis, see H.C. Kim, T.J. Wallington, S.A. Mueller, B. Bras, T. Guldberg, and F. Tejada (2015). Life Cycle Water Use of Ford Focus Gasoline and Ford Focus Electric Vehicles, Journal of Industrial Ecology, 20 (5), 1122-1133.