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Ford Launches 2018 Edition of Conservation and Environmental Grants

Conservation and Environmental Grants

Coinciding with World Environment Day on June 5, Ford Motor Company today launched the 17th edition of its Conservation and Environmental Grants programme, with $105,000 made available to successful entries from around the Middle East and North Africa region.

World Environment Day is the United Nation’s most important day for encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the protection of our environment. Since it began in 1974, it has grown to become a global platform for public outreach that is widely celebrated in over 100 countries. Each World Environment Day is organised around a theme that focuses attention on a particularly pressing environmental concern.

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The theme for this year’s World Environment Day is “beating plastic pollution”, and Ford is increasing the total fund offering for 2018 with a $5,000 special category grant for the project that best displays a plan to tackle the scourge of plastic on our environment.

Accepted from Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, and Yemen, the touted Conservation and Environmental Grants projects should be focused on one of three main areas: Environmental Education, Protection of the Natural Environment and Conservation Engineering.

Two further categories will receive financial support for the winning projects: Best in Research – projects that show use of research in finding, and implementing, solutions to a specific environmental issue – and Best in Community Engagement, for the project that best demonstrates community engagement during its undertaking.

Individuals or organisations with on-going projects focused on any of the main areas of focus are invited to apply by downloading the form here, and email it to FMEGrant@ford.com. Applications will be received from June 5, with closing date for submissions on July 15, 2018 at 9pm AST (Arab Standard Time). Jury voting will take place, virtually, in August, with winners announced in September of this year.

“Our planet faces increasing environmental challenges; such as greater congestion in cities, the rise of the global population, and the ongoing implications of climate change – and so we continue to work tirelessly to maximise our energy and water efficiency and minimise the waste and emissions footprints of our manufacturing plants and vehicles,” said Mark Ovenden, president, Ford Middle East and Africa.

“The Ford Conservation and Environmental Grants programme is one of many initiatives Ford has invested in to preserve our environment for future generations. With this year’s World Environment Day theme of Beating Plastic Pollution in mind, the programme will be including an additional special category to be awarded a $5,000 ‘beating plastic’ grant.”

For years, Ford has been working with renewable materials, from farm elements to plastics. In partnership with Coca-Cola, Nike and Procter & Gamble, Ford proudly co-founded the plant-based PET Technology Collaborative (PTC), a strategic working group focused on accelerating the development and use of 100 per cent plant-based PET materials and fibres. Ford also boasts the first automotive use of Coca-Cola’s Plant Bottle plastic, used in the seat fabric, trim, carpets and headliner in an electric Ford Focus battery demonstration vehicle.

The World Wildlife Fund’s Bioplastic Feedstock Alliance (BFA) can, too, rely on Ford as a partner, as it works to support the responsible development of plastics made from plant material, and helps build a more sustainable future for the bioplastics industry.

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Snow in July or a Christmas Heat Wave with Ford

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The air is shimmering like in the desert, while just a few metres away, it’s so cold you can build a snowman. And there’s a category 5 hurricane in the next room. Welcome to the “Weather Factory”. Ford’s new state-of-the-art Environmental Test Centre puts all the world’s weather under one roof, enabling engineers to test forthcoming vehicles – from a small Ford KA+ to a two-tonne Ford Transit in the most demanding conditions and make whatever weather they want at any time of the day.

Altitudes higher than Mont Blanc, the tallest Alpine peak, vehicle and wind speeds of up to 250 km/h (155 mph), snow, glaring sunlight and rain are among conditions that are a push of a button away in Europe’s most advanced automotive environmental test centre.

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 On an area the size of a football pitch, engineers can now take vehicles on demanding journeys around the world, from the desert heat of the Sahara, to the arctic cold of Siberia and the heavy humidity of Costa Rica.

“The vast range of punishing simulation tests will enable Ford drivers to be confident their vehicles can handle whatever climate zone they live in,” said Joe Bakaj, vice president, Product Development, Ford of Europe. “Travelling to the four corners of this building is like taking a trip to the four corners of the world, and our engineers will do that around the clock, every day, to continue to develop future best-in-class vehicles.”

The subject of a €70 million investment, the test centre offers the first automotive wind tunnel to simulate heavy snow and altitudes of 5,200 metres, the same elevation as the Mount Everest North Base Camp. The facility can also cool two rooms to – 40° C and heat them up to 55° C, as well as generate 95 per cent humidity. The temperature extremes make the facility at Ford’s John Andrews Product Development Centre in Cologne, Germany, the hottest, coldest and most humid place in Europe, and home to the highest point in Western Europe.

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Now fully operational, engineers can work on up to ten different vehicles simultaneously. Testing covers comfort, safety and durability, as well as electrical performance, braking, air conditioning, trailer towing, cabin heating and traffic jam situations. Engineers analyse the effects of high speed winds on exterior parts, check the robustness against rain and snow, and see how fast a windscreen defrosts at different temperatures.

“The Environmental Test Centre represents a significant investment for Ford of Europe that will help enable the company here to develop vehicles for global markets,” said Bakaj.

All Ford vehicles will be tested in the facility, which features three climate wind tunnels, including a high-altitude lab, and four temperature-controlled test chambers, one of which will also facilitate humidity testing.

  • Wind Tunnel 1 is set up for hot and cold immersion testing. The 28 spotlights with 4,000‑watt bulbs help to simulate the powerful sun beams that enable engineers to check how fast the cabin can be cooled. This wind tunnel can also evaluate the interior noise from vehicle systems at different speeds, temperatures and humidity levels, to check the heating and air conditioning noise
  • Wind Tunnel 2 is also set up for hot and cold immersion testing. Engineers can use this wind tunnel to make snow and rain to check the effect on visibility, engine starts and how long it takes to heat the cabin
  • Wind Tunnel 3 is the altitude lab, where engineers can test vehicles at wind speeds of up to 120 km/h (75 mph) at up to 5,200 metres. The high altitude cold start and durability tests ensure the vehicle’s liquids don’t burst their lines when working under higher pressure. More than half of Ford vehicles worldwide are sold in territories with roads above 1,000m

“We can see how windshield wipers function in Arctic temperatures, how engine performance changes in extreme heat and cold, and even how much snow falls on the driver’s head when they open the door. It’s an engineer’s dream,” said Michael Steup, project manager, Environmental Test Centre, Ford of Europe.

Overall, the facility requires 11 megawatts of electricity, enough to power a small town of 2,400 inhabitants, that comes from a fully renewable, environmentally-friendly source. The electricity provided by RheinEnergie originates from certified sustainable sources in Scandinavia and covers the complete electric power demand of Ford’s facilities in the city.

The ground-breaking test centre complements testing facilities that include Ford Lommel Proving Ground, in Belgium, home to a specific pothole-testing track, side-wind tests, and saltwater and mud baths.

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Five Ways Ford’s Clever SYNC® 3 System Can Help You Safely Take Your Time Back

Ever thought about how you can make your commute more productive, perhaps by catching up on the things that matter to you, or even learning a new language? As you spend your time sitting in traffic, you may start to feel your time wasting away, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be the case.

According to research published by US-based transportation analytics company INRIX in its 2017 Global Traffic Scorecard, which ranks 1,360 cities in 38 countries on five continents, drivers in the UAE spend an average of 24 hours every year in traffic during peak hours. By comparison, drivers in the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh spend 31 hours a year in traffic, while residents in Cape Town (49 hours) and Johannesburg (46 hours) also face time-consuming commutes.

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“When you consider that drivers in this region spend a considerable part of their lives in their cars, there’s a huge opportunity to turn that journey into something more meaningful,” said Ziad Chaaban, Electrical and Electronic Systems engineer, Ford Middle East and Africa.

While authorities work to reduce traffic congestion issues across the region, drivers can make good use of that time behind the wheel. With Ford’s SYNC® 3 infotainment system, you can spend your time in traffic more meaningfully in a safe manner that still allows you to pay attention to the roads without distraction. Here are five things that SYNC® 3 can do to help you take back your day.

Learn something new (or rock out to your favourite tune)

Spending hours in traffic presents the ideal opportunity to learn something new. Load some useful audiobooks onto your smartphone, and then play them back in your car via SYNC® 3. From picking up a new skill to learning a new language, there’s virtually no limit to what you can achieve, optimising your commute and transforming it into a time for personal growth. Or if books aren’t your thing and you prefer singing instead, download your favourite backing tracks and have your own impromptu karaoke session.

Reply to text messages with just your voice

Ford SYNC® 3 offers smartphone integration with Android Auto1, Apple CarPlay and Siri Eyes Free compatibility, allowing you to sync it with the system and access its functionalities while on the move. More importantly, you can use SYNC® 3 to read messages on your Apple device and both read and reply to text messages safely on your Android device2. SYNC® 3 also seamlessly and fully supports Arabic.

Make calls that matter

With smartphone integration, you can make calls while keeping your hands on the wheel. This opens up even more valuable time, which you can use to catch up with your loved ones. Or you can also leave for work a little later, and take conference calls from the car instead.

Search for places of interest

SYNC® 3’s navigation function allows you to search easily for places of interest, such as a particular building or meeting point, and save them for future reference. This cuts down on valuable time needed to search through menus or maps to help make your day more productive.

Speak up and focus on the road

SYNC® 3’s voice control cuts eliminates the need to tap through menus to find contacts, your favourite artist, genre, or station. You simply press a button and tell SYNC® 3 what you’d like to do, even in Arabic. You’ll save time and, most importantly, stay focused on the road ahead while keeping both hands on the wheel.

With SYNC® 3, you can regain valuable minutes on your commute everyday with its suite of productivity features, but more than that, you can be assured that it will always have your back.

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Ford and Effat University Further Women Empowerment Efforts with Global Debut of Ford Driving Skills for Life for Her in Saudi Arabia on International Women’s Day

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In their continued efforts to further empower women, Ford Motor Company and Jeddah-based Effat University this week complete the inaugural session of Ford Driving Skills for Life for Her, a special variation of Ford’s globally renowned and award-winning safe driving programme for teens and new drivers, Driving Skills for Life. The programme – specially designed to accommodate Saudi female students embarking on their journey to acquire a driver’s licence – made its global debut out of the Kingdom this week, coinciding with International Women’s Day, with more than 250 female students participating.

Ford Driving Skills for Life for Her marks the second initiative the company has launched in Saudi Arabia aimed at empowering women and giving them the skills they need to embark on their journey with confidence. Last year, Ford Fund – the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company – debuted its Henry Ford Entrepreneurship Academy in the Middle East, also at Effat University, providing 50 Saudi female entrepreneurs with the tools and knowledge needed to sustain their businesses.

“Providing access to opportunities for people to reach their full potential is core to our mission and Ford’s goal of becoming the world’s most trusted mobility company,” said Jim Vella, president, Ford Fund.

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While visiting the Kingdom specifically to mark this momentous week, Vella added: “The fact that the programme takes place around International Women’s Day, a global day celebrating the social, economic and cultural achievements of women, is no coincidence. We are thrilled to be part of this historical milestone as we bring Ford Driving Skills for Life for Her to Saudi Arabia, to help young female drivers feel safe and confident behind the wheel for the first time, and we look forward to welcoming a new generation of women to the driver’s seat.”

Dr. Haifa Jamalallail, president of Effat University, said: “The wheels of change are constantly moving forward, and finally Saudi Arabia has caught up with the rest of the world with regard to women driving. Statistics show that women are generally safer and more defensive drivers than men.
“At Effat University, we are determined that this becomes the case also here,” Jamalallail continued. “We want women to be behind the wheel, and so we are looking forward to working with all elements of society to improve the safety of all citizens on the road. The Ford Driving Skills for Life programme is a step in this direction.”

Held between March 5-8, Ford Driving Skills for Life for Her is training more than 250 eager Effat University students, incorporating vital skills necessary for new drivers, tips from highly skilled experts, and a deep understanding of safe driving practices, which is of paramount importance for new drivers as they take to the roads for the first time.

The different modules of this new customised introductory programme have been created with the future first-time drivers in the Kingdom in mind.

The sessions include:

  • Learning About Your Vehicle – where students are taught the fundamentals of preparing to drive, such as the importance of adjusting seating position, checking mirrors, and placing hands at the correct point on the steering wheel
  • Braking – which allows students the learning opportunity to safely control the car from being in motion, bringing it to a complete stop, preparing these new drivers to take to the road with confidence
  • Driver distraction – stressing the importance of staying focused on the road at all times, highlighting through practical, hands-on experience the dangers of driving distracted. In Saudi Arabia alone, close to 7,500 road deaths in 2017* have been attributed the use of mobile phones while driving.

During the programme, female students also had the chance to wear specially-designed “impaired vision goggles” – which mimic the effect of tiredness or drowsiness.

Shams Hakim, a Business HR student at Effat University who participated in the programme commented: “I’ve always been a passenger in the car and can’t wait to get behind the wheel! As well as being excited, I have had some apprehension about what is actually involved in driving. Ford Driving Skills for Life for Her has given me the confidence and education I need for the journey that lies ahead to obtain my licence.”

More than 9,000 people were killed in car accidents in Saudi Arabia in 2016**, mainly due to speeding – an average of over 25 per day – a figure sure to cause concern for new drivers and their families. With Driving Skills for Life, Ford aims to instill safe driving practices early on with younger drivers, male or female.
Ford also intends to make the new Driving Skills for Life for Her an on-going programme for the Kingdom’s female drivers, with phase two coming later this year to Effat University, and expanding to other institutions across the Kingdom in the future.

A signature programme of the Ford Fund, Driving Skills for Life is an international initiative for road safety created in cooperation with the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) and a panel of safety experts. The award-winning programme captures newly licenced drivers’ interest with free, hands-on ride-and-drive courses that pair new drivers with professional driving instructors and focus on the issues and obstacles that cause crashes, including impaired and distracted driving.

Now in its 15th year, Ford Driving Skills for Life has provided free training to more than one million newly-licenced drivers in more than 40 countries worldwide. In total, Ford has invested more than $50 million in DSFL initiatives globally as part of its long-standing commitment to promoting safety on the road.
Since its Middle East launch in 2013, more than 3,600 students have participated in Ford’s Driving Skills for Life programme, with sessions in three different cities across Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates last year alone.

Driving Skills for Life for Her is part of Ford’s global commitment to providing access and opportunities for women. From its Empower-Her female entrepreneur programme to projects focused on helping end human trafficking, as well as numerous initiatives that provide professional development and leadership training, Ford Fund has long supported programmes that help women succeed by overcoming social, educational and financial obstacles.

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Want to Feel Good? Forget Dinner, Football and Dancing – Get a Sports Car

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Forget shopping, fine dining or an epic boxset binge – new preliminary research reveals that driving a sports car on a daily basis is among the best ways to boost your sense of wellbeing and emotional fulfilment.

The study measured “buzz moments” – peak thrills that play a vital role in our overall wellness – as volunteers cheered on their favourite football team, watched a gripping Game of Thrones episode, enjoyed a day of shopping or took an intense salsa dancing class. Only the occasional highs of riding a roller coaster ranked higher than the daily buzz of a commute in a sports car.

Working with neuroscientists and designers, Ford brought the research to life with the unique Ford Performance Buzz Car: a customised Ford Focus incorporating wearable and artificial intelligence technology to animate the driver’s emotions in real time across the car’s exterior.

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“A roller coaster may be good for a quick thrill, but it’s not great for getting you to work every day,” said Dr Harry Witchel, Discipline Leader in Physiology. “This study shows how driving a performance car does much more than get you from A to B – it could be a valuable part of your daily wellbeing routine.”

Study participants who sat behind the wheel of a Ford Focus ST or Mustang experienced an average of 2.1 high-intensity buzz moments during a typical commute; this compared with an average of 3 buzz moments while riding on a roller coaster, 1.7 while on a shopping trip, 1.5 each while watching a Game of Thrones episode or a football match, and none at all while salsa dancing or fine dining.

For the research, Ford took one Focus and worked with Designworks to create the Buzz Car. From concept, design and installation to software development and programming, the Buzz Car took 1,400 man-hours to create. Each “buzz moment” experienced by the driver – analysed using a real-time “emotional AI” system developed by leading empathic technology firm Sensum – produces a dazzling animation across almost 200,000 LED lights integrated into the car. The Buzz Car also features:

  • High-performance Zotac VR GO gaming PC
  • 110 x 500-lumen daylight-bright LED light strips
  • 82 display panels with 188,416 individually addressable LEDs

Driver state research

Researchers at the Ford Research and Innovation Centre in Aachen, Germany are already looking into how vehicles can better understand and respond to drivers’ emotions. As part of the EU‑funded ADAS&ME project, Ford experts are investigating how in-car systems may one day be aware of our emotions – as well as levels of stress, distraction and fatigue – providing prompts and warnings, and could even take control of the car in emergency situations.

“We think driving should be an enjoyable, emotional experience,” said Dr Marcel Mathissen, research scientist at Ford of Europe. “The driver-state research Ford and its partners are undertaking is helping to lead us towards safer roads and – importantly – healthier driving.”

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Ford and Effat University Help Women Make History in Saudi Arabia with Safe-Driving Education Course

Ford-DSFL-For-Her-Arab-Motor-World

Ford Motor Company is assisting Saudi Arabian women gain the power of mobility by hosting a special Driving Skills for Life programme with Effat University. Calling on her fellow students to partake, Shams Hakim, Business HR student at Effat, made the announcement on YouTube.

The groundbreaking course – DSFL For Her – follows the landmark decision last year by the Kingdom, as decreed by His Highness, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, to lift the ban on females driving in Saudi Arabia.

“Ford Motor Company was built on the belief that freedom of movement drives human progress, so we are honoured to have the opportunity to support women in the Kingdom during such an extraordinary time, and to welcome them to the driver’s seat,” said Jim Vella, president, Ford Motor Company Fund. “Our DSFL For Her programme provides access to training and experiences that will help women feel safe and confident as they get behind the wheel.”

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Based on its award-winning global safe driving initiatives, DSFL has customised an introductory programme which focuses on building women’s confidence behind the wheel, expanding their automotive knowledge, preparing them to take their driving lessons and instilling safe driving practices before they tackle public roads.

This will be the first-ever DSFL For Her introductory programme anywhere in the world, with certified trainers providing the training on closed roads at Effat University’s Jeddah campus.

The four-day DSFL For Her, held between March 5-8, will train more than 250 Effat University students, incorporating four specific modules of in-vehicle experience – Learning About Your Vehicle, Distraction, Impairment, and Braking – preceded by a briefing with the lead instructor.

Dr. Haifa Jamalallail president of Effat University, said: “Effat University is well known for its innovative education, driving women forward to take their rightful places in society and the workforce. We are proud to be able to partner with Ford to ensure that our students are also prepared to become responsible, safe drivers. We believe in driving change, but driving safely, and this is exactly what the Safe Driving Skills for Life programme is all about.”

Driving Skills for Life is an international initiative for road safety created by Ford Fund in cooperation with the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) and a panel of safety experts. Ford’s signature award-winning programme captures newly-licenced drivers’ interest with free, hands-on ride-and-drive courses that pair new drivers with professional driving instructors and focus on the issues and obstacles that cause crashes, including impaired and distracted driving.

Now in its 15th year, Ford Driving Skills for Life has provided free training to more than one million newly-licenced drivers in more than 40 countries worldwide. In total, Ford has invested more than $40 million in DSFL initiatives worldwide as part of its long-standing commitment to promoting safety on the road.

Since its Middle East launch in 2013, more than 3,600 students have participated in Ford’s Driving Skills for Life programme, with sessions in three different cities across Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates last year alone.

The new DSFL For Her installment will be an on-going programme for women drivers in the Kingdom, with phase two coming later this year.

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Ford Celebrates 41 Consecutive Years of Truck Leadership As F-150 Continues to Set US Sales Records

Ford has once again fortified its position as America’s truck leader with its F-Series marking 41 consecutive years as the nation’s best-selling pickup, and America’s best-selling vehicle for 36 years.

F-Series sales in 2017 increased 9.3 per cent with 896,764 trucks sold, representing F-Series’ best sales performance since 2005 and its dominance of the pickup market. Ford has now sold more than 27 million F-Series variants since January 1977 which, if lined bumper to bumper, would stretch over 150,000 kilometres and could circle the globe almost four times.

To put 2017 sales figures into some perspective, an F-Series truck was sold every 35 seconds throughout the year – a year in which Ford marked 100 years since the launch of its first purpose built truck, the 1917 Model TT.

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Ford’s truck leadership was founded on core values of innovation, durability, dependability and legendary toughness. In 1977, that meant a light duty pickup that featured an improved 351-series V8 engine, standard front disc brakes and the option of an extended SuperCab for the sixth generation F-Series. Fast forward 41 years, and customer expectations, lifestyles, work demands and usage have helped to define the world’s most innovative, technologically advanced, safest and most capable trucks ever produced.

The 2018 Ford F-Series

Debuted in the region at the Dubai International Motor Show in November 2017 and available today in dealerships across the Middle East, the 2018 Ford F-150 is tougher, smarter, and more capable than ever. The new model features a refreshed bolder design with a rich array of new technologies that add on to the already class leading capabilities that the truck boasts.

Three years after introducing a high-strength, military-grade, aluminium-alloy-bodied F-150, the new truck arrives with bold new styling, advanced technologies, a segment-first 10-speed automatic transmission and F-150’s most advanced engine line-up yet.

An enhanced 5.0-litre V8 normally-aspirated engine features significant upgrades for 2018 including advanced dual port and direct-injection technology for more horsepower and additional torque. Spray-on bore liner technology, also featured in the Shelby GT350® Mustang, has been added to squeeze out even more weight from the aluminium block. For the first time, the V8 is paired with the 10-speed SelectShift automatic.

For best-in-class towing, the second-generation 3.5-litre EcoBoost twin-turbo V6 delivers roughly six tonnes of towing capacity thanks to its impressive 578 Nm torque. That level of power beats all diesel- and petrol-powered competitors, including V8 engines with nearly twice its displacement. With dual port and direct-injection technology, the 370-horsepower twin-turbo engine provides ideal low-end and peak engine performance for hauling heavy payloads and towing heavy trailers.

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From Seed to Seat: How Soy Foam Proved Key to Ford’s Push to Use Renewables

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A lot of people are familiar with soy – tens of millions of consumers eat and drink it every day. But what might come as a surprise is that many of us actually sit on recycled soy all of the time.

This year marks 10 years since Ford first used soybean-based foam in the 2008 Mustang, and since 2011, it’s been a key material used in the seat cushions, seat backs and headrests of every vehicle we build in North America.

Now, 18.5 million-plus vehicles and half a trillion soybeans later, we’ve saved more than 228 million pounds of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere. This is the same amount that would be consumed by 4 million trees per year, according to North Carolina State University.

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The innovative use of soy foam as a plant-based alternative to traditional petroleum-based products is what inspired us to adopt it in 2007 – bringing key sustainability benefits to our vehicles without compromising durability or performance.

We can credit our company founder Henry Ford with the idea of incorporating biomaterials back in the 1940s, so for us, continuing to implement his vision is the right thing to do. The research and testing of renewable, plant-based alternatives to petroleum-derived plastics has been my life’s work since 2000, and I’m proud to be able to continue the vision of Henry Ford.

But just bringing the idea to market in the first place was a real challenge. Those first foams, frankly, were terrible! They met none of the rigorous requirements of automotive seating. Early trials failed to meet durability standards for seat cushions, which need to rebound for the equivalent of 15 years. Not to mention, the soy and petroleum materials separated, and the soy foam didn’t smell very good. So we set out to painstakingly explore how to improve the formulations, rebalance the chemistries and remove odorous compounds.

Just 10 years ago, the world was a different place. A newly invented iPhone was about to launch, George W. Bush was president of the United States, and oil prices were low – $40 a barrel. Not many saw financial gain in being green at the time, so convincing suppliers that soy foam was the material of the future wasn’t easy, either.

In those early days, we relied on a combination of things, including support from the United Soybean Board in funding some initial trials, as well as the personal vision and crucial endorsement of Bill Ford, then CEO. We needed him firmly in the driver’s seat and he absolutely was, ensuring the project stayed on track.

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In 2008, when oil prices skyrocketed, the value of soy foam became suddenly obvious. Not only was replacing petroleum-based polyol good for the environment, it was good for business. We’d been doing our homework, so Ford was ready.

We were eager to share the potential for soy foam and boost sustainable applications of it wherever possible, so we worked tirelessly with other industries – agriculture, furniture and home goods – to help them formulate foams specific to their needs as well.

Building on our success with soy foam, we began to develop other renewable materials to incorporate into our vehicles, which in turn further helped us reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In some cases, the material allowed for weight reductions as well, leading to improved fuel economy for many of our vehicles.

Of course, our work implementing biomaterials into our vehicles has not been accomplished overnight. We are proud to now feature eight sustainable materials in our production vehicles – soy, wheat, rice, castor, kenaf (hibiscus), tree cellulose, jute and coconut. As we continue to experiment, the list of renewable resources we are researching reads like an entire farm – wheat straw, tomato peel, bamboo, agave fiber, dandelions, even algae!

We’re also exploring innovative uses of carbon itself, and are first in the industry to develop foams and plastics using captured carbon dioxide. This is the type of innovative work I’m proud to say my team does every single day at Ford.

A decade on, we continue to collaborate with the United Soybean Board to develop soy-based materials for rubber components like gaskets, seals and wiper blades. Today, our use of soy foam looks like a landmark first step. Bill Ford maintains we’ve come a long way, but we still have a long way to go. Many opportunities remain available for us to explore in pursuit of our sustainability goals. We continue to make progress across our business, as highlighted in our 18th annual Sustainability Report – whether that’s trailblazing with our industry-leading commitments on water security, building on our achievements for true zero-waste-to-landfill facilities, or investing in scrappage programs to improve air quality.

Soy was our introduction to sustainable materials. Now, the next 10 years promise even more radical research and revolutionary innovation, underpinned by responsible investment and pioneering vision. We need to embrace the vast host of materials Mother Nature gives us, and employ them to their best advantage. This includes using locally sourced plants and crop waste where we assemble our vehicles, something with the potential to further reduce shipping emissions and provide area farmers with new revenue streams. I think all of this would make Henry Ford very proud.

Ford intends to remain the industry leader in the use of sustainable materials as we move into a future that’s guaranteed to be exciting. We’ve learned a lot over the past decade-plus. Most importantly, we’ve learned we can provide the world with a host of alternative material choices that have less impact on the environment. I always say I have the best job in the world in that I’m fortunate to work for a company that supports out-of-the-box thinking.

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Second-Hand Car? Mustangs Destined for Scrapheap Get New Life as High End Watches

It could be the ultimate present for the petrol head in your life – a handmade watch, lovingly crafted from components that in a previous existence were used in classic Ford Mustangs.

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The idea is the brainchild of Christian Mygh and Jonathan Kamstrup, who together scour salvage yards around the world for models, each of which can be transformed into hundreds of unique timepieces, costing from $1,495.

For the true Mustang enthusiast, REC Watches, based in Denmark, will even create an entirely new watch from parts donated by customers including World Champion Drifter and professional fun-haver Vaughn Gittin Jr., who wears a watch that includes carbon fibre bodywork from his 700‑horsepower World Drift Series Ford Mustang RTR.

“Most people would just see a pile of metal, a ghost of a Mustang. We see something completely different – the soul of a car and a story that needs to be told,” said co-founder Mygh. “I’m not cutting up Mustangs. I’m bringing Mustangs that are beyond repair back to life as a watch.”

To ensure these stories continue to be told, REC Watches painstakingly trace the history of each vehicle; talking to previous owners, collecting stories and images from the car’s past lives, and incorporating them into a bespoke video.

Each finished design incorporates the vehicle identification number, year of production and classic Mustang design cues. A power dial designed to look like a fuel gauge shows remaining battery life, and the hands, date, and dial numbers are all influenced by the iconic car’s dashboard. On one trip to Sweden, the team struck gold with a rare 1966 Raven Black model that has become the basis for their limited edition P51-04 collection of 250 watches.

Named after a World War II fighter plane and launched in 1964, Mustang’s radical styling and aggressive performance made it an instant classic. Its superstar status was cemented by a starring role in the 1968 action movie “Bullitt” with Steve McQueen, as well as a string of songs and films focused on, or incorporating the groundbreaking car. The modern-day Ford Mustang keeps the excitement alive with exhilarating high-performance from the 421 PS 5.0-litre V8 engine and the 324 PS 2.3-litre EcoBoost unit.

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