On a rainy and brisk mid-October day, commercial real estate executives, real estate related vendors and building company professionals networked, listened and learned about Ford’s efforts to reduce its energy use.
With a good sized crowd assembled at Dearborn Inns’ banquet center, CoreNet Vice-President Patrich Jett welcomed attendees, noted upcoming events and thanked all of the sponsors for their support of this event, including FORD LAND, STEELCASE, NBS INTERIORS AND NEW IMAGE FACILITIES MAINTENANCE. Shortly after lunch, an ENERGY presentation was provided by Mr. George Andraos PE, Director of Energy and Sustainability for FORD LAND.
Mr. Andraos provided a brief introduction, including his background and time spent with Ford Land. He remarked that Ford’s sustainability vision is set by Bill Ford, Jr. The overall goal of the company is to provide 21st century transportation that is both sustainable and affordable. At Ford, the company continues to focus on sustainability, meeting their needs at the present without sacrificing the needs of future generations. Ford is focused on energy reduction and intends to further reduce its energy consumption per vehicle another 25% by 2016.
Mr. Andraos stated through a companywide concerted effort, Ford had reduced its energy use worldwide by thirty (30%) percent over the last ten years. Considering the vast real estate holdings of this company over all continents and climates, that’s a tremendous amount of savings, especially in that Ford buys over one Billion ($1B) Dollars of energy globally each and every year. Mr. Andraos stressed such savings and achievements could not be possible without the full support and backing from top corporate leadership, including Mr. Bill Ford, Jr.
For the balance of the presentation, Mr. Andraos laid out Ford’s objectives, achievements and challenges in the field of energy as it relates to lighting, steam, compressed air, building management systems and their GO GREEN Dealership program. Ford’s dealership support program intends to voluntarily support those dealerships interested in cutting their energy use.
Towards that end, Ford provides comprehensive energy assessment audits and those results to its dealership network. It does so to provide information, encouragement and support to those dealers interested in upgrading their facilities for energy savings and sustainability. Those who upgrade their facilities by implementing some of the suggestions of the energy audit enjoy reduced energy consumption and increased comfort of their employees, customers and guests.
For those dealers interested in selling electric Ford vehicles, a more robust, compulsory sustainable building program exists to allow dealers to mirror the corporate commitment to energy efficiency and sustainability. Ford believes those dealers selling an advanced electric vehicle must fall in line with the Ford sustainability corporate platform and its overall strategy for the brand to have consistency. In other words, “walk the walk, not just talk the talk.”
Ford has changed its overall focus on energy, life cycle costs, sustainability and the environment, taking a much longer view of the overall strategy. Instead of just looking at first cost, Ford now weighs the life cycle costs of its decision making process. This bodes well not just for Ford’s strategy, but also for its overall sustainability as a global business enterprise.
ROBERT E. MATTLER, Associate Broker, Attorney and LEED AP BD+C, is Director of Green Brokerage at Armada Real Estate Services in West Bloomfield, Michigan. Bob is also Senior Correspondent forwww.greeningdetroit.com He speaks, writes and blogs about emerging sustainable real estate issues in Michigan and elsewhere. For more information, contact Bob at Armada Real Estate (248) 855-1221; or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org