We work with others in our industry to develop common expectations and guidance for suppliers and to provide consistent training. All of our direct (Tier 1) suppliers are subject to our Global Terms and Conditions, which require that both our own suppliers and their sub-tier suppliers meet specific sustainability expectations in the areas of harassment and discrimination, health and safety, wages and benefits, freedom of association, working hours, bribery and corruption, community engagement and environmental responsibility. We also provide training to our Tier 1 suppliers to build their capability to manage sustainability issues, and we require that they cascade the training to their own suppliers. And, we perform assessments of supplier facilities to ensure compliance.
ThinktoSustain.com: Electric cars have a high potential to reduce GHG emissions. However, the ecosystem needed for the electric car market is still in an evolutionary phase. Also, a majority of customers may not be willing to pay a premium for electric cars.
Question: How do you see Ford’s electric cars contributing towards emission reductions across these regions – North America, EU and Asia-Pacific? Will the support systems (in these regions) be in place and in time for the EV segment to play a major role?
John Viera: Electrified vehicles are an important part of our sustainability strategy. This is the future of transportation, but we understand that people have a range of needs when it comes to their vehicles. That’s why Ford offers a full line of electrified vehicles, one BEV (Focus Electric), two hybrids (C-MAX Hybrid and Fusion Hybrid) and two plug-in hybrids (C-MAX Energi and Fusion Energi). We are seeing an enormous uptake in hybrid sales. In fact, we surpassed our previous full-year hybrid sales record in the first five months of 2013.
This is an exciting time for transportation. We’re in the first years of introducing electric vehicles into the market, and we know that growth will happen as people learn more about these technologies and infrastructure becomes more prevalent. We’ve already seen a boom in charging stations – since 2010, the number of public charge stations has risen from 3,000 to nearly 11,000 today. Our strategy with our electrified vehicles is to build them on the same production lines as our other vehicles so that we can easily scale production to meet growing demand.
Question: From a customer’s perspective, which markets would offer stiffer challenges in adopting this technology?
John Viera: We are still in the early stages of the shift toward electrified vehicles. Certainly, some regions, cities, countries, are moving faster than others. For instance, in California, where we are selling the most electrified vehicles, there is a rapid growth of charging infrastructure, and the state and local governments are working to incentivize electrified vehicles through tax credits and HOV lane access. Well-known brands such as Walmart are installing charging stations at their stores. As infrastructure develops, we expect to see demand for EVs increase.
Click here to read more on Ford’s 14th Annual Sustainability Report.
About John Viera
John Viera is the Global Director, Sustainability and Vehicle Environmental Matters for Ford Motor Company, a position he has held since January 2007. He is responsible for developing global sustainable business plans and policies, interfacing with global regulatory bodies, reporting externally on the company’s environmental and social performance, and leading the company’s engagement and partnerships with NGOs and other key stakeholders.
Viera has held several positions within Ford Motor Company during his 27 year tenure before being named to his current position. Hailing from Chicago, John Viera attended the University of Michigan, receiving his Bachelor’s of Science in Mechanical Engineering in 1984 as well as Master’s in Business Administration in 1992.
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