In November 2017, CBIS met with Ford Motor Company’s new CEO Jim Hackett, an executive with strong sustainability credentials, and Ford’s Chairman of the Board, Bill Ford, Jr., to discuss the company’s policy advocacy on fuel economy standards , human rights due diligence in the supply chain, the need to undertake a Two Degree Scenario Analysis, and the importance of understanding disruptive trends and technology that can negatively impact its strategy plan. The company agreed to investigate what a Two Degree Scenario Analysis would entail.
CBIS led a meeting of BP executives and the Chair of the Board’s Remuneration Committee in March (with a follow-up meeting at our NYC office in April 2017), and convened a coalition of investors representing over $6 trillion AUM to join us. In June 2017, CBIS participated in a half-day discussion on lobbying alignment covering a range of concerns: cleaner vehicle goals, advanced mobility progress, and reaching low-income markets. CBIS is working to address growing pressures on the company from newer competitors that are shifting demand from the internal combustion engine to new technologies and mobility strategies. CBIS pressed Ford to respond to these trends, and its roll-out and timeframes for low-carbon fleets, and the policy, cybersecurity and leadership risks accompanying them. Much more progress is needed by Ford to stay ahead of the curve and be a relevant transport company in the coming decades.
Ford recently outlined ways it is building consumer acceptance of and demand for fuel-efficient vehicles. The company is investing an additional $4.5 billion in electrified vehicle solutions by 2020, and it expects that by the end of the decade, more than 40% of Ford’s nameplates globally will be electrified. CBIS has discussed with the company for nearly 15 years ways that it could improve the energy efficiency and increase the miles/gallon of its fleet. Electric vehicles are cleaner than petroleum-fueled vehicles and seen as a partial solution for bettering the environment.
In 2016, CBIS was invited to join a strategic planning session with several teams of Ford Motor Co. to discuss strategies out to 2030, including autonomous vehicles, electrified fleets, utility partnerships on infrastructure, vehicle design, and public policy. CBIS raised questions about cyber security concerns for self-driving (autonomous) vehicles and targeting segments of the market like the elderly and disabled for such vehicles, to the need for adapting car design to accommodate extreme weather from climate change. CBIS also discussed new partnerships to build out fueling/recharging infrastructure, the necessity of self-driving cars to move beyond fossil fuels (cars of the future are expected to be high tech in more than one way), and the trend in highly customizable cars and the opportunities that might produce—as well as the environmental risks inherent in parts and technologies that might quickly become obsolete.