Ford Partners with Origin Materials to Develop More Sustainable Supply Chain

2022 Ford Maverick Lariat interior
Ford Motor Company and Origin Materials have partnered to bring sustainable materials to the automotive supply chain. Although the interior of the 2022 Ford Maverick Lariat (above) is not made with these materials, the companies will strive towards sustainability in the future. // Courtesy of Ford

Origin Materials, a leading carbon negative materials company in California, announced today the launch of its Net Zero Automotive program with Ford Motor Co. in Dearborn.

The goal of the program is to establish a supply chain initiative focused on industrializing new materials to drive decarbonization in the automotive industry.

Origin expects the new materials, derived from sustainable wood residues, to be in high demand as the auto industry has begun a global effort to decarbonize its supply chains in search of the “zero carbon car.”

“Origin’s Net Zero Automotive Program is an exciting initiative that we expect to drive innovation, sustainability and decarbonization throughout the automotive supply chain,” says Rich Riley, co-CEO of Origin. “Ford is the perfect partner to launch the program with and we look forward to working with their teams to bring new sustainable products to market that will play a key role in helping them achieve their decarbonization and sustainability goals.”

The program will launch with the companies pursuing drop-in applications for the carbon negative polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic. Aside from sustainability, the PET plastic makes cars lighter, more fuel efficient. This, coupled with hybridization, will decrease carbon emissions.

The material will be used for a variety of interior and exterior applications, including bumpers, door panels, tire filler, underbonnet foam sheeting, black plastic headrests, seat cushions, and arm rests. Origin and Ford also will collaborate to develop sustainable paint pigment.

“Ford’s path to carbon neutrality evaluates every part of our operations, including the emissions associated with synthesizing the vast number of materials we use within our vehicles,” says Debbie Mielewski, technical fellow at Ford. “The ability to utilize carbon negative materials will be a monumental driver in helping achieve our sustainability goals and supports a more proactive vision for the entire industry.”

Headquartered in West Sacramento, Origin Materials uses its patented technology platform to turn inexpensive, plentiful, and sustainable wood residues into carbon-negative materials. Aside from automotive applications, the company has offerings for clothing, textile, packaging, carpeting, and toy manufacturers.

These materials also are separate from the petroleum supply chain, which is volatile and can cause shifts in pricing. Origin states its pricing is expected to remain stable.

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