Editor's note: Ford, in a corrected statement, said it reduced global manufacturing CO2 emissions by more than 3.4 million metric tons from 2010 to 2017. The figure was misstated in Ford's original statement.
DETROIT -- Ford Motor Co. says it has met a self-imposed goal of slashing manufacturing-related emissions eight years ahead of schedule.
The company in 2010 pledged to cut carbon dioxide emissions from its carmaking processes by 30 percent within 15 years. Thanks to a number of energy-conservation initiatives, it achieved its goal in half the time.
Ford announced the achievement as part of its 2017-18 Sustainability Report, saying it reduced global manufacturing CO2 emissions by more than 3.4 million metric tons from 2010 to 2017. That's equivalent to greenhouse-gas emissions from more than 728,000 passenger vehicles driven for one year, it said.
"We thought that was aggressive and we didn't really know how we were going to achieve it," Andy Hobbs, global director of Ford's environmental quality office, told Automotive News. "It was an aspirational goal."
The automaker hit its target by installing more than 100,000 LED light fixtures and adding solar panels to a number of plants across the globe, including its Dearborn Truck Plant and Michigan Assembly Plant near Detroit. It also updated its painting techniques, eliminating drying ovens to reduce energy.
Another way it reduced its carbon footprint involved a process in which a machining tool is lubricated with a finely atomized mist instead of a larger quantity of coolant and water.
"The beauty of Ford manufacturing folks is, once they accept a task, they throw everything, including the kitchen sink, to achieve it," Hobbs said.
The company is working on what its next goal will be and will announce it this year, Hobbs said, noting that it will involve additional CO2 reductions as well as adding more renewable energy practices.
Already, Ford makes around 300 parts from renewable materials. It uses eight sustainable materials in production vehicles: soy, wheat, rice, castor, kenaf (hibiscus), tree cellulose, jute and coconut.
Hobbs said the automaker would stick with the guidelines offered by the Paris climate accord to reduce vehicle emissions, even though the U.S. has formally backed out of the deal. He said Ford's goals were unchanged by the Trump administration's decision.
"As a company, at the highest levels, we've been very clear that we think climate change is real," he said. "We support the notion of fuel efficiency for our vehicles, and CO2 reduction for our manufacturing facilities."