Ford Motor Land Development Co.
Ford Land, as it is commonly called, embraces its parent company’s core beliefs: efficiency, with quality; corporate stewardship; and measurement metrics that go beyond the bottom line. Part corporate real estate service provider to Ford Motor, part independent development company, Ford Land has found a balance between environmental and workplace concerns. Furthering these goals could mean a singular approach to across-the-board reductions in energy use; Ford Land, however, has reduced operating costs through a number of energy management strategies that involve reduction, education, and generation.
While best-practices programs in the corporate world are becoming more commonplace, Ford Land’s initiatives - and goals - are not. For example, the Ford Land Steering Committee is really a meeting of the minds. Comprised of representatives from the company as well as outside consultants, the committee gathers to discuss best practices in green development and management. But, this one actually works. Why? The committee includes representatives from the architecture and engineering firms contracted by Ford Land, giving them the opportunity to truly understand the company’s philosophy on sustainability while becoming more familiar with new technologies.
Another best-practices initiative, the Energy Waste Walks, helps plant managers become aware of their energy consumption. To accomplish both education and buy-in, the energy team at Ford Land conducts biannual Energy Waste Walks at each North American assembly plant; here, plant managers can get a real-world perspective on energy usage and reduction when energy personnel visually inspect the facility.
LEED® certification is also a best-practices benchmark. To date, Ford Land has achieved this prestigious certification from the U.S. Green Building Council at three of its facilities. Several more are registered and awaiting certification.
What do all of these best-practices programs spell? S-U-S-T-A-I-N-A-B-I-L-I-T-Y. When Ford Motor Chairman/CEO Bill Ford empowered employees to create more sustainable vehicles and facilities in 1999, Ford Land was there. And, it continues its ground-breaking resourcefulness right at home in Dearborn. The 1917-built Rouge Complex has become a cornerstone for what is possible in sustainable design and operation. Stormwater management and landscaping - two key areas at the site - might seem relatively inconsequential, but they’re not. Today, a portion of the Rouge Complex is covered by the world’s largest living roof (10.4 acres) and a network of natural wetlands, underground cisterns, and retention ponds harvest 300 million gallons of rainwater per year before it flows into the Rouge River. Plants and vegetation are also being studied for properties that might actually detoxify industrial-site soil.
The bottom line? Ford Land is proof that sustainability can make business sense through common-sense application.