By the end of August 2011, Ford's Dagenham Diesel Assembly plant in the United Kingdom will be completely powered by wind. Three wind turbines will help keep over 5,000 metric tons of C02 out of the atmosphere. The plant already featured two turbines, but a recent increase in production required Ford to begin installation of a third turbine in order to remain 100 percent wind dependent.

The three turbines produce 11.4 million-kilowatt hours of electricity per year, enough to power 3,400 homes. "Since 2000, we have reduced our global operational energy use by 30 percent and CO2 emissions from our facilities by 39 percent," said Ken Macfarlane, Vice President Manufacturing, Ford of Europe. "Globally Ford is committed to continue leading the way in environmental responsibility, whether with the vehicles and powertrains we make or through the processes we use to make them."

Wind-powered factories are just another part of Ford's Green Energy Initiative. In 2008, Ford's Dunton Technical Center in the United Kingdom became 100 percent reliant on renewable power, which saves over 35,000 metric tons of C02 emissions annually. In addition to taking advantage of renewable energy, Ford has taken less traditional approaches to save the environment. In the mid-1990's, Ford began a program in Germany to create sustainable forests. Whenever a customer traded in a vehicle without a catalytic converter, Ford planted a tree. The program was such a success, that over eight sustainable forests were created, covering an area larger than 20 soccer fields.

Across the pond, Ford has introduced environmentally friendly innovations for American customers as well. Focus Electric owners can now opt to have a home solar panel installed to offset the cost of charging an electric Focus. Ford's EcoBoost technology offers customers an engine that is powerful yet economical on fuel consumption.

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Cliff Turner has been an automotive enthusiast ever since high school, where he developed a passion for cars while working for the local Saturn/Hummer dealership. When he isn't writing, he is busy earning his Juris Doctorate at John Marshall Law School in Atlanta.

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