Ford Landed a Key Partner in Its Quest for Greener Cars

Lisa Steuer McArdle
Oct 15, 2021 · 3 min read
Origin Materials, a world-leading carbon negative materials company, recently announced the launch of its Net Zero Automotive Program with Ford.
The program seeks to manufacture materials that will drive decarbonization in the auto industry. Both Origin Materials and Ford will look for ways to use carbon negative polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic produced from sustainable wood residues in SUVs, trucks, electric cars and more.
Business Wire says it’s a timely initiative, because right now the automotive industry is striving to make the most sustainable car possible. In general, many car companies have been setting carbon neutrality goals, which means they are working to balance carbon emissions through carbon removal.
With car companies putting carbon goals in place, Origin Materials believes the industry will be seeking newly developed and industrialized materials, like the sustainable wood residues the company is using.
A person holding up a green plant with cars in the background
Ford is on a mission to become a more sustainable company | Twenty20

Ford and the ‘zero carbon’ car

With PET plastic, cars can be made lighter and more fuel efficient. Since PET is carbon-negative, it’s expected to help reduce emissions and the need for fossil resources.
Together, Ford and Origin Materials will look to provide the automotive industry with drop-in ready materials solutions to help the industry decarbonize supply chains in search of the "zero carbon" car.
Origin Materials believes its system for turning inexpensive, plentiful and sustainable wood residues into carbon-negative materials can help revolutionize the production of car parts, as well as clothing, textiles, plastics, packaging, car parts, tires, carpeting, toys and more.
In addition, the company says this technology platform can provide stable pricing, since the petroleum supply chain exposed to more volatility than those based on sustainable wood residues.

Driving innovation

Origin Materials plans to use its technology platform to produce carbon negative materials that can be used for the interior and exterior of the vehicle, including paint pigment, bumpers, door panels, tire filler, under bonnet foam sheet, black plastic, head rests, seat cushions, and arm rests.
The company expects the initiative to help drive innovation, sustainability and decarbonization throughout the automotive supply chain. Plus, Ford says that utilizing carbon negative materials will be a big part in achieving the company’s own sustainability goals while supporting a larger vision for the entire industry.

Ford’s green goals

Last year, Ford announced it would expand its climate change goals by setting a target to become carbon neutral by 2050. It vowed to focus on three areas that account for about 95% of its CO2 emissions—vehicle use, its supply base, and the company’s facilities.
Ford also is working to develop goals approved and defined by the Science Based Targets initiative for its Scope 1, Scope 2, and Scope 3 emissions.
Scope 1 includes direct emissions from company-owned or -controlled sources, and Scope 2 focuses on indirect emissions from generation of purchased electricity, steam, heating and cooling consumed by Ford. Scope 3 addresses in-use emissions from vehicles that Ford sells and emissions from its supply base, among others.

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