The automotive industry specializes in getting customers where they’re going, and now an American company may be showing the rest of the industry where to head.

Despite the proliferation of sustainable business practices and the pursuit of renewable resources across most of the world’s marketplace, automotive manufacturers have occasionally been slow in adopting clean energy sources and for good reason. The industry was once founded and has made its living on fossil fuels.

But with green business becoming big business and consumers turning their attention and their money toward clean energy alternatives, automotive manufacturers are steering themselves in that direction as well.

Ford, for instance, recently released its 2013-14 sustainability report and reported strong findings. The report covered a wide variety of efforts, like the company’s move toward responsible sourcing of its materials, reducing its economic impact, and making its vehicles more efficient.

That first goal has been a large and notable one for the company, distinguishing it for its pursuit of the eradication of forced labor throughout its production network and for partnering with sustainability champions like the Automotive Industry Action Group and the Conflict-Free Sourcing Initiative. Since the company does business around the globe, such a commitment shows its willingness to alter its business model in favor of sustainable practices and better conditions for its employees and the communities they live in.

For more empirical evidence of Ford’s commitment, note that the report says the company has reduced its per vehicle water use by 30 percent worldwide in the last five years, two years ahead of schedule. Paired with the aforementioned community consciousness, Ford’s greener business plan looks to be taking full root and already reaping benefits.

The hope is that the company’s successes in the area of sustainability will pave the way for many other automotive factors to follow.

Here at Viridian, our entire business model is centered upon sustainability and social consciousness. From educating consumes about responsible electricity usage to hosting a slew of sustainability events, local and global stewardship is core to who we are. Click here to learn more about our commitment to sustainability.