DEARBORN, MI – Ford is using material from kenaf, a tropical plant similar to bamboo but related to cotton, in the door bolsters in the all-new 2013-MY Ford Escape. With manufacturing processes affecting the environmental footprint of the vehicles fleets purchase, this is an example of one way that Ford is looking to use renewable materials in manufacturing.

The original materials used inside the doors were petroleum-based. Ford said using the kenaf plant will reduce the amount of the original petroleum-based resin used in the doors by 300,000 lbs. per year in North America. Ford said its supplier International Automotive Components (IAC), based in Greencastle, Ind., combines the kenaf material with polypropylene in a 50-50 mixture inside the Escape’s doors.

Ford added that the new Escape meets the USCAR Vehicle Recycling Partnership goal that 85% of the vehicle is recyclable.