In the year following the Climate Declaration signing, General Motors (GM) continues to prove there is economic opportunity in tackling climate change.
Organized by sustainable business advocacy group Ceres and its Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy coalition, the Climate Declaration reinforces the economic benefit of addressing clean energy, energy efficiency, cleaner transportation and reduced carbon emissions. GM remains the only automaker among 750 signatories.
“The world is changing and we are making bold moves to ensure we remain relevant to customers and conserve the resources our industry relies on,” said Mike Robinson, GM vice president of Sustainability and Global Regulatory Affairs. “We are restructuring our entire portfolio to maximize vehicle efficiencies with the intent of setting a new standard in fuel economy and reducing carbon emissions around the globe while we meet a variety of customer needs.”
GM’s fuel-efficient and electrified vehicle lineup complements the company’s environmental commitment to responsible manufacturing, from using renewable energy to increasing energy efficiency. For the second consecutive year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognized GM with a 2014 Energy Star Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence Award for superior energy management.
GM also ranked among the top 10 percent of companies reporting in the CDP Global 500 Climate Change Report 2013, demonstrating leading practices for measuring emissions and energy and transparency for its climate change strategy.
GM communicates the business case for addressing climate change with employees and suppliers, helping it receive the EPA Energy Star Partner of the Year – Climate Communications Award for raising consumer awareness of climate change. It also joined the voluntary EPA SmartWay Partnership to drive benchmarking of fuel consumption and reduction of emissions by freight shippers and carriers.
Since signing the declaration, GM has taken action to address climate change:
•Introduced two new electrified vehicles, the Chevrolet Spark EV and the Cadillac ELR extended-range electric vehicle. They join the Chevrolet Volt, a plug-in electric vehicle introduced in 2013 and 2012.
•Met the voluntary Energy Star Challenge for Industry at nine additional plants for a total of 63 facilities worldwide. These combined efforts saved GM $162 million in energy costs.
•Recognized by the Solar Energy Industries Association as a “Solar Champion” for significantly impacting the establishment of a strong U.S. solar industry.
•Invested $24 million to use 14 more MW of landfill gas at Fort Wayne and Orion assembly plants to avoid 23,000 metric tons of CO(2) per year and save a combined $10 million in energy costs annually.
•Contracted to turn solid municipal waste from Metro Detroit into process steam to heat and cool portions of Detroit-Hamtramck assembly, removing coal-fired boilers.
•Completed Ohio’s largest rooftop solar array, a 1.8 MW installation at GM Toledo Transmission.
•Earned four new LEED certifications for a total of six worldwide.
•Participated in U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings, Better Plants program to achieve 25-percent combined energy use reduction at 25 plants by 2018 for a savings of $7 million.
•Earned ISO 50001 certification for energy management at two facilities in Argentina and Mexico for a total of nine worldwide.
•Cut energy use by more than 20,000 metric tons of CO2 at 3 buildings recognized in EPA’s National Building Competition: Battle of the Buildings, saving $1 million.
•Announced partnerships with Honda and U.S. Army advancing fuel cell system and technology development.
•Applied the first “real-world” use of OnStar’s Smart Grid solutions by teaming with TimberRock to use a fleet of electric vehicles to help regulate energy flow.
Published in the May 2014 Edition of American Recycler News