Business Strategy and the Environment

Length: 540 words

The world’s largest green roof in Dearborn, Michigan (about 500,000 square feet) was planted to improve the area watershed by holding several inches of rainfall. Other features include Phytoremediation (the use of natural plants to rid soil of contaminants), swales seeded with native vegetation to improve storm water management, porous paving, renewable energy sources such as solar cells and fuel cells, and more than 1,500 trees and thousands of other plantings to attract songbirds and create habitats.

Mercury-containing switches are being eliminated from Ford vehicles, as part of a voluntary commitment to the Michigan Mercury Pollution Prevention Task Force (Laszlo, 2003). The Bridgend Engine Plant in Wales has incorporated solar panels into its main plant buildings, the first of this type in an automotive plant. The panels produce the power needed to light an area approximately 108,000 square feet. Ford began a carbon credit program, Greener Miles to make hybrid vehicle production carbon-neutral.

The Livonia Transmission Plant, (Landrum, 2009) Ford uses a small, precisely measured quantity of oil mist rather than using several gallons of metal-working fluid to lubricate machines. Additionally, scraps of metal generated by the machines are sucked out by a vacuum and recycled. By using less materials and keeping the equipment free of debris, the useful life of the machines is prolonged. Ford’s Michigan Truck Plant is experimenting with the use of paint waste in the interior of its vehicles as a noise pollution-reducing material.

In 2009, Landrum claims that Ford’s Sharonville, Ohio plant has recently began a recovery program for shot blast pellets used to smooth metal parts, the dust created by the smoothing process is also being recovered. The plant is working with its waste management contractor to reduce waste by at least five percent annually. The Dagenham Engine Plant in England removes oil and fluid from a flow of oily waste. The oil is recycled and the solids are formed into brickettes to be used by steel-makers.

By avoiding landfill costs, this has saved the company $1. 2 billion. The plant’s managers have also devised plans to use all of their remaining waste as an energy source for the plant (Blackburn, 2008). At an assembly plant in Hermosillo, Mexico, a Membrane Biological Reactor treats wastewater through ultra filtration and reverse osmosis. After treatment, the water is suitable for use in plant processes as well as irrigation of surrounding areas according to Blackburn (2008).

Dependence on potable water is reduced by 40%. Because of this system, the plant has actually been able to double production and cut water use at the same time. Given the above reasons, Ford turns out as one of the world’s largest leading companies, that as incorporated sustainability into its organizational policies, this shows a good corporate citizen and strongly that sustainability should not be compromised by any corporation in the world especially environmental stewardship.

Reference:

Blackburn. W. R. (2008). The Sustainability Handbook: The Complete Management Guide to Achieving Social, Economic and Environmental Responsibility. Londan: Earthscan. Landrum N. E. , ; Edwards S. (2009). Sustainable Business: an Executive’s Primer. London: Earthscan. Laszlo. C. (2003). The Sustainable Company: How to Create Lasting Value through Social and Environmental Performance. Albuquerque N. M: Island press. Robert. C. (2008). Business Strategy and the Environment. Core issues in sustainable supply chain management – a Delphi study, Volume: 17, 2 pages.

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