This past weekend, I had the opportunity to travel to Detroit for the North American International Auto Show and Ford Digital Summit. One of the things that I love most about my job as a blogger are the unique experiences I am able to have doing things I’d never be able to do otherwise.
I certainly never imagined myself walking down the halls of an international auto show as a member of the press, admiring the beautiful cars and the fascinating innovations from car manufacturers around the world.
In addition to eating a ton of fabulous food, hanging out with some of my favorite fellow bloggers, and enjoying The Henry Ford Museum, the Rouge Factory, and a fun night at TechShop, we had the chance to learn from some of the best of the industry.
The weekend was more than seeing lots of shiny new cars – this trip opened my eyes to the power that large corporations hold to kick-start positive changes in our world.
When we toured the Rouge Factory, where Ford F-150s are built, we traveled up to the observation deck and learned about the many forward-thinking and green initiatives that Ford has implemented over the last several years.
Here are just a few of the fun (and inspiring) facts that we learned:
- In 1996, Ford became the first automaker to certify all its plants worldwide according to the environmental management standards set forth by the ISO (International Organization for Standardization).
- Ford Motor Company has been successful in reducing energy and natural resource usage, protecting the environment, and following environmental laws and regulations.
- Since 2002, more than 1500 new trees have been planted at Ford Rouge Center.
- The living roof that covers the Ford Rouge Factory provides insulation, cleans the air and rainwater, and reduces the urban heat effect.
- The green roof will last twice as long as a traditional roof, lowers summer temperatures inside by up to 10 degrees, absorbs up to 4 million gallons of rainwater, and weighs less than 15 pounds per square foot even when wet.
Later that day, we had the chance to sit with leaders from companies that have partnered with Ford’s green business initiatives.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Ford is committed to a greater global sustainability strategy to reduce its environmental footprint and develop new fuel-efficient technologies.
About 85% of the materials used in Ford vehicles (by weight) are recyclables, including doors, seats, tires, stereos, steering wheel column, batteries, and more.
“We are beginning to sell electric cars – and developing alternative power trains that will make cars affordable in every sense of the word – economically, socially, and environmentally.” –Bill Ford
Ford is doing their part, bringing other companies with them, and helping families like us do the same. One of the most inspiring quotes I heard was “Families don’t have to be 100%…. They can pick and choose which changes they want to make that make sense with their home, budget, and situation.”
What are you doing to follow innovative companies like Ford to make our world a better place?