Vehicle manufacturer Ford is relooking how it uses technologies in processes that include the use of water in an effort to reduce its water consumption.

In order to achieve this, the company said it has become involved in several projects which include recycling, and will also review its technological processes currently in use.

“Ford’s host of projects to achieve measurable reductions in water use have been acknowledged as world-leading for the past two years by CDP, an international company which is driving sustainable economies,” the company said in a statement.

CDP rates companies in a host of environmental categories annually, with water saving being one of the most important.

Ford has now been rated one of a few A Grade companies in the world in this regard. In both cases, it is the only motor manufacturer in the United States to have received this accolade, and the company said it plans to expand this principle to all its dealerships around the world.

While more than 400 companies were considered by CDP for the A Grade rating in 2015, only eight companies qualified in their detailed survey. Ford was one of two motor companies in this group and the only one in the US. Two South African companies, Harmony Gold Mining and Kumba Iron Ore also made it onto the A Grade list.

“Access to clean, affordable drinking water is a basic human right. We have worked diligently to set goals to reduce our water use while introducing innovative manufacturing technologies to help us achieve these goals,” Andrew Hobbs, global director for environmental quality said in the company’s latest sustainability report. “We are pleased CDP is recognising Ford as a sustainability and water conservation leader, reflected in the top grade we have received for our work on water issues.”

According to Ford’s sustainability report, it first set its targets for reducing water impacts in 2000 as part of its Global Water Management Initiative. In 2013, two years ahead of schedule, Ford met its global goal to reduce water use per vehicle produced by 30 per cent compared to 2009.

Ford set a new goal to reduce water use by 2 per cent in 2015 and this target was exceeded with a further reduction of 5 per cent.

Ford invests in SA

South Africans are becoming far more aware of the need to save water, which is an increasingly scarce resource acorss the world and especially in South Africa. The country’s Western Cape Province is on a knife-edge in terms of supply following devastating droughts.

In South Africa, Ford has invested more than US$21 million in a wastewater treatment plant at its Silverton facility. The plant uses the latest technology to recycle water used in the manufacturing processes and the amount of water recycled continues to increase.

Currently the system allows for the purification of water for industrial use only, but future projects, such as those that have been implemented at other Ford facilities around the globe, could allow for the use of recycled water for day-to-day human usage. This would see the use of recycled water increase to about 50%.