Speaking of the whims of a chief executive: Ford Motor Company is currently struggling to strike a balance between the company’s financial woes and the eco-friendly inclinations of CEO and Chair William Clay Ford, Jr. So far, the former seem to be winning out: In its latest corporate citizenship report, released this week, the company says it is having trouble meeting its environmental goals and won’t launch many new programs to clean up its cars and trucks in the next few years. Ford says it does intend to keep its promises to improve the fuel economy of its sports utility vehicles 25 percent by 2005, to create a hybrid SUV by 2003, and to give a factory near Detroit a green makeover. However, the report warns that the company won’t be moving forward — and indeed, might slip backward — on greenhouse gas emissions, as it is relying on sales of its popular but gas-guzzling SUVs to salvage a difficult financial situation. The report angered environmentalists and highlighted the need to prove the theory that green policies can also keep businesses in the black.
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