Strategic Advisory

SustainAbility has provided Ford with important input in three areas over the last decade. First, they provide accurate insights on market trends and translate those into implications for Ford. Second, they assist in the development of specific sustainability strategies in response to trends. Finally, they provide excellent insights on how to effectively message the developed strategies to the external environment.

– John J. Viera, Director, Sustainability & Environmental Policy


SustainAbility has provided trusted counsel to Ford since the late 1990s. Initially retained to help craft Ford’s original sustainability strategy, our brief expanded to include guidance on Ford’s first corporate citizenship report, advice on Ford’s decision to leave the Global Climate Coalition and Ford positioning on climate change generally, and support for the crafting of Ford’s Business Principles – pioneering in the business world for their early embrace of corporate accountability for human rights.
In 2005-06, SustainAbility was a key advisor to Ford during development of the Ford Report on the Business Impact of Climate Change, the first of its kind in the industry, and we had a major influence on Ford’s development of a product development plan designed work within the constraints of maximum atmospheric CO2 concentration of 450 ppm; this commitment was breakthrough in terms of leadership when conceived and still separates Ford’s climate leadership from the vast majority of the private sector.
Over the years, SustainAbility has helped Ford understand and respond to shareholder proxy resolutions on sustainability issues; designed and facilitated multiple stakeholder dialogues for Ford on issues including global warming, materiality and local community impact; and guided Ford decisions as to which sustainability forums to join e.g. its very early involvement in the UN Global Compact. We also worked directly with Ford to conceive its Megacity Mobility platform – which informed Ford’s understanding of and approach to sustainability mega-trends such as demographics and migration – and we have helped Ford frame and test its approach to ensuring the highest possible labor rights standards in its supply chain.
In recent years, we helped Ford decipher and respond to events and issues such as COP 15 in Copenhagen, the ongoing challenge of framing and communicating Ford’s climate change position, automotive electrification and biofuels. SustainAbility participated in Ford’s 2009 scenario planning exercises on the evolution of the automotive industry through 2020 and has advised Ford on how best to incorporate sustainability messages into its marketing and branding. Finally, Ford is an ongoing member of SustainAbility’s Engaging Stakeholders program, which allows the company to stay abreast of best practice trends in transparency, reporting and engagement.


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