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"Ford & ISO 14001" Provides Roadmap to Environmental Savings

Submitted by: Ford Motor Company

Categories: Environment

Posted: Apr 02, 2001 – 12:00 AM EST

 

Ford Motor Company has saved millions of dollars since becoming the first automaker to certify all of its manufacturing facilities worldwide to the ISO 14001 international standard on Environmental Management Systems in 1998.

In a new book released by The McGraw-Hill Companies: Ford & ISO 14001; The Synergy Between Preserving the Environment and Rewarding Shareholders (293 pages, $99.95), author Tim O’Brien, director of Ford's Environmental Quality Office, chronicles the successful strategy of the world’s second largest automaker in achieving independent certification of more than 140 enormously complex manufacturing facilities in 26 countries (currently 106 facilities in 25 countries since the spin-off of Visteon).

“The bottom line is we have proven that business and the environment can live in harmony,” said O’Brien. “Ford has demonstrated it can save millions of dollars and at the same time reduce our environmental impact.”

ISO 14001 establishes universally accepted requirements for environmental management that have been adopted and sanctioned by standards bodies in most industrialized nations. The presence of an ISO 14001 certificate informs purchasers that companies have a general policy to address, among other things, prevention of pollution and compliance with all relevant laws and regulations. Purchasers are assured that a company has a management system to achieve its environmental objectives and targets, and a structure to help it improve the management system through corrective and preventive actions and training.

Ford & ISO 14001 is designed to enhance efforts in training, implementation, and tracking performance related to an ISO 14001-based Environmental Management System no matter what the company size or industry. It includes an entire sample EMS manual and dozens of system documents that users are free to adapt in their own company, potentially saving thousands of dollars and countless hours of development time.

According to O'Brien, “Our goal was to take the lessons learned and experience that we gained, and put it into a format that would appeal to a large variety of people. Sharing this information is another example of Ford's environmental commitment. We achieved global certification well ahead of any other auto manufacturer, and three years after fully implementing this process, some of our competitors are still playing catch up. I am extremely proud to be able to bring attention to Ford's leadership in this environmental area."

As a result of its success, Ford became the first US automaker to require ISO 14001 EMS certification of all of its suppliers and manufacturing facilities in 1999. This requirement, which applies to about 5,000 organizations worldwide, calls for suppliers to certify at least one manufacturing site by the end of 2001. The requirement also states that all of the suppliers’ manufacturing sites shipping products to Ford must be certified by July 1, 2003.

Ford & ISO 14001 is written for environmental managers, environmental health and safety managers, environmental engineers and persons responsible for implementing ISO 14001. It may also be appropriate for senior managers and students looking for a greater understanding in the practical application of environmental management in today’s global business environment.

O’Brien will donate all royalties from the sale of the book to the Edison Institute for the establishment of an environmental curriculum at the Henry Ford Academy of Manufacturing Science in Dearborn, Michigan.

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