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Ford’s use of renewable and recyclable materials

Dr. Valentina Cerato, Senior Materials Engineer at Ford UK will do a presentation about theStrategic approach to the use of non-metallic recycled content” at our international conference “Automotive Interior – Smart materials and surfaces” (24. – 26. September 2012, Hilton Hotel in Bonn, Germany).

Here you can read about the applications in the Ford Focus (2010):

To find out what happens to discarded household carpets, old jeans or empty bottles, take a closer look at the Ford Focus. Ford’s innovative hatchback is spearheading a comprehensive European recycling campaign, which has created over 300 separate parts formed with recycled material and diverts around 20,000 tonnes away from landfill each year.

Valentina Cerato, materials engineer at Ford’s Dunton Technical Centre, Essex, said: “Ford’s approach is guided by its Product Sustainability Index, including sustainable material and substance management. The index covers recycled materials and the use of natural fibres, which continue to replace plastics in Ford components.”

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Here is a general overview from Ford (2010):

Ford is making its vehicles more eco-friendly through increased use of renewable and recyclable materials such as the soy and bio-based seat cushions and seatbacks on the 2010 Ford Taurus.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.

“Sustainable materials need to meet the same high standards for quality, durability and performance as virgin material; there can be no compromise on product quality,” said Valentina Cerato, Ford materials engineer in Europe.

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.

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How To Be a Green Driver Without Buying a New Car

I have come across an interesting blog post on which I would like to share with you. No longer will you have to buy a new car to be a green driver! Learn how you become a green driver without buying a new car:

Driving is an inevitable part of day-to-day life for many commuters. The impact of vehicle related CO2 emissions can no longer be ignored. There are more than 250 million cars regularly operated in the United States. In total, these cars make 365 billion trips with a combined mileage of 2.3 trillion miles per year. No matter which way you look at it, this is hard on the planet. It is time to go green, regardless of your income. Fortunately, there are many impacting ways to be a green driver without having to buy a hybrid or electric car. All it takes is a little bit of creativity and some commitment to the greater cause.

Giving up driving all together would be ideal, but is too unrealistic for most Americans. Instead, you can start with a few simple steps to living a greener, commuter lifestyle.

Step One: Get a handle on your skills and seek to practice smooth and steady driving. Smoother driving with less time spent on the gas or the brakes can equate to substantially less carbon emissions. How is this so? One second of flooring it can make the same CO2 emissions as a full thirty minutes of travel. It takes a lot of energy to get that engine to go, so work on smoother transitions.

Don’t idle your car. Nine minutes of idling is double the pollutants of turning the car off and then on again when it is time to go. Despite the myths, you will not waste gas by restarting your engine. Try to avoid rush hour traffic. If you do wind up in traffic, be sure to turn off your engines if you are at a standstill for more than 30 seconds.

Service your car regularly. This means regular oil and air filter changes, and keeping those tires inflated. Poorly maintained engines can reduce fuel efficiency by as much as 20 percent. Slightly deflated tires can also reduce miles per gallon. Simple updates will keep you on the green commuter track.

Step Two: Try to work from home whenever possible. You can start by telling your boss that it boosts morale, profits, and the eco-friendliness of the company. In addition, this could potentially save 2 billion gallons of gasoline per year. Telecommuting one day a week could cut CO2 emissions by 400 lbs. per year. Who would want to say no to that?

Get flexed with work. This means that if you can’t telecommute, maybe you can ask to have a schedule that is outside of the peak hours. This way you can avoid rush hour traffic and all the carbon-filled standstills that so often go along with it.

Use mass transit or use your body. Maybe you can use alternate transportation a few days a week. This could mean biking, busing, riding a scooter, or even walking if it’s not too far. This will not only save on CO2 emissions, but could also save you some gas money.

Step Three: Take the big step when the time comes. This means that when your old car dies, upgrade to an eco-friendly vehicle. While this may cost more upfront, it will undoubtedly save you in gas costs over time. With gas prices sky rocketing to nearly five dollars a gallon, this is a sound investment indeed. You could always look into purchasing a used hybrid or electric car to save a little more. In the end, you are helping yourself by helping the planet.

(Source:, written by Jenni Sunde)

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