DETROIT – Over the sounds of the assembly plant building the all-new 2016 Chevrolet Cruze, employees at General Motors’ Gunsan plant in South Korea can hear cicadae singing from rescued trees that first sprouted more than a century ago.
The Gunsan plant is GM’s first manufacturing site in Asia to earn certification from the Wildlife Habitat Council for establishing a wildlife habitat on corporate lands, but it’s just one of 46 GM sites around the world that have been recognized by the nonprofit for biodiversity programs.
Seven-thousand miles east, GM’s Orion Assembly plant is gearing up to start production of the Chevrolet Bolt EV, while also establishing an onsite pollinator garden to protect declining populations of honeybees and monarch butterflies.
In Kansas City, Kan., GM’s Fairfax Assembly plant is not only the home to the next-generation Chevrolet Malibu and all-new Malibu Hybrid, but to the mourning doves and scissortail flycatchers that take refuge on the site’s 2½ acres of habitat.
GM is now halfway toward its goal of securing wildlife habitat certifications or equivalent at each of its manufacturing sites by 2020. The company leads all automakers in Wildlife Habitat Council certifications.
“General Motors’ continued conservation leadership and commitment to habitat enhancement sets an example for other companies to follow,” said Margaret O’Gorman, president, Wildlife Habitat Council. “The global aspect of GM’s participation in conservation programs raises awareness of corporate conservation’s impact in enhancing ecosystems of value around the world.”
GM’s Gunsan site is the first program the Wildlife Habitat Council has certified in Korea. Last year, GM became the first company to establish a certified wildlife habitat in China. The company now manages nearly 4,700 acres of wildlife habitat in seven countries.
GM received seven new certifications this year through the Wildlife Habitat Council’s Wildlife at Work and Corporate Lands for Learning programs, which recognize outstanding wildlife habitat management and environmental education efforts at corporate sites. Twelve GM facilities also earned recertification this year, having shown continuous growth of their habitats and environmental education programs.
“Our global scale gives us an opportunity to enhance diverse ecosystems in the communities where we live and work, from wetlands and deserts to woodlands and prairies,” said Greg Martin, GM executive director for Sustainability. “We work with schools, nonprofits and conservation groups in our communities to increase awareness about wildlife and habitat preservation at the local level.”
About General Motors Co.
General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM, TSX: GMM) and its partners produce vehicles in 30 countries, and the company has leadership positions in the world's largest and fastest-growing automotive markets. GM, its subsidiaries and joint venture entities sell vehicles under the Chevrolet, Cadillac, Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling brands. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety, security and information services, can be found at http://www.gm.com.
About the Wildlife Habitat Council
The Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC) promotes and certifies habitat conservation and management on corporate lands through partnerships and education. Since 1988, WHC programs translate corporate sustainability goals and objectives into tangible and measurable on-the-ground actions. Through a focus on building collaboration for conservation with corporate employees, other conservation organizations, government agencies and community members, WHC programs focus on healthy ecosystems and connected communities. WHC wildlife habitat and conservation education programs are found in 44 states, the District of Columbia and 13 countries.