There’s More to Being Green than Meets the Eye

There may be more eco-friendly materials and components than you realize in that new Ford you have been considering. The company has increased its use of renewable and recyclable materials with examples as tangible as the soy and bio-based seat cushions and seatbacks on the 2010 Ford Taurus. The Taurus is the eleventh Ford vehicle to feature earth-friendly bio-based seat cushions and seatbacks. Ford has more vehicle models with seats that use soy and other bio-based foams than any other automaker. The current Ford Mustang, F-150, Focus, Flex, Escape, Expedition and Econoline as well as Mercury Mariner, Lincoln MKS and Navigator also use the sustainable material.

“We already have bio-based foam on more than 2 million vehicles and we’re looking to convert 100 percent of our fleet to it in the future,” said Jerry Brown, Ford Chief Engineer of Seat and Restraint Engineering. “This is just one way that Ford is advancing the use of eco-friendly materials in the industry.”

For the past several years, Ford has concentrated on increasing the use of non-metal recycled and bio-based materials, including:

  • Bio-based (such as soy) polyurethane foams on the seat cushions, seatbacks and headliners on 11 vehicle models. The 2 million Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles on the road today with bio-foam seats equates to a reduction in petroleum oil usage of approximately 1.5 million pounds
  • Post-consumer recycled resins such as detergent bottles, tires and battery casings used to make underbody systems, such as aerodynamic shields, splash shields and radiator air deflector shields. The latest example is the engine cam cover on the 3.0-liter V-6 2010 Ford Escape. As a result, Ford has diverted between 25 and 30 million pounds of plastic from landfills
  • Post-industrial recycled yarns for seat fabrics on vehicles such as the Ford Escape and Escape Hybrid. A 100 percent usage of recycled yarns can mean a 64 percent reduction in energy consumption and a 60 percent reduction in CO2 emissions compared to the use of new yarns
  • Repurposed nylon carpeting made into nylon resin and molded into cylinder head covers for Ford’s 3.0-liter Duratec® engine. The industry’s first eco-friendly cylinder head cover is used in the 2010 Ford Fusion and Escape
  • The automotive industry’s first application of wheat straw-reinforced plastic for the third-row storage bins of the 2010 Ford Flex. The natural fiber replaces energy-inefficient glass fibers commonly used to reinforce plastic parts

In support of Ford’s global product development strategy, material engineers are developing standardized specifications for sustainable materials while working with parts purchasers and suppliers to use eco-friendly components in different markets.

For example, the European Ford Focus uses recycled polymer in such components as the battery tray, wheel arch liners, seat fabric and carpets. Materials engineers are in the process of determining if recycled polymer can be used for similar components in the global Focus coming to North America and Europe in 2011.

Did you know that Ford vehicles are now 85 percent recyclable by weight? In 2009, Ford saved approximately $4.5 million by using recycled materials, and diverted between 25 and 30 million pounds of plastic from landfills in North America alone.

Automobiles are among the most recycled consumer products in the world. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, more than 95 percent of all end-of-life vehicles in the U.S. are processed for recycling – compared to 52 percent of all paper and 31 percent of all plastic soft drink bottles.

In Europe, automakers are required to take back the vehicles they’ve produced at the end of the vehicles’ useful lives. Ford has end-of-life recycling networks for its vehicles in 16 European markets and participates in industry collective systems in another 10. In 2007, Ford became one of the first automakers in Europe to be certified in compliance with end-of-life requirements, including:

  • Design and produce vehicles that facilitate the dismantling, reuse, recovery and recycling of them at end-of-life
  • Reduce the use of hazardous substances when designing vehicles
  • Increase the use of recycled materials in vehicle manufacture
  • Ensure that parts do not contain mercury, hexavalent chromium, cadmium or lead

Reuse is a big part of the recycling story. Auto recyclers supply more than one third of all ferrous scrap to the U.S. scrap processing industry. When manufacturers use scrap iron and steel instead of newly produced ore, they reduce air and water pollution by more than half during the manufacturing process.

“In theory, end-of-life vehicles are nearly 100 percent recoverable. In practice, however, the cost in energy and labor to recover all vehicle material often exceeds the value of the materials and offers insignificant value to the environment,” Viera said. “We remain focused on achieving the highest economically viable and environmentally sound recovery percentage possible.”

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rick g this makes me so happy that ford actually care's about where this world is going and they are at least trying to save it and recycle alot of the old cars but personally i think if ford could take the old car's and fix them up and resell them with the owners concent of course i think it would reduse alot of clutter in the junk yards like thier is a place in indianapolis indiana that is called pic a parts where you can actually get parts for your old beater with a heater and fix it up to look better and honestlly i think that is something ford should think about but the all green and eco friendly thing is just outstanding in my book
2 year(s) ago via
rrschindler I just purchased a Ford Taurus for my wife. This is one of the best cars that I have ever owned. Now I would like to purchase an all electric car for myself. I have been thinking of the Chevy Volt but would rather have a Ford. Can you help me out?
4 year(s) ago via
Katelyn Lord Thanks for the information! This makes me proud to be an all-Ford family. Getting ready to trade in our old reliables, (both Fords), been waiting for something like this to give us the incentive.
4 year(s) ago via
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