Innovation: Environment

Energy Efficiency

We strive to reduce emissions & petroleum dependence by being more energy efficient.


  • We reduced energy use at our global facilities 28% on a per-vehicle-produced basis between 2005 and 2010 and 7% from 2010 to 2012.
  • We received a 2013 EPA ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year - Sustained Excellence award..
  • We house 37 MW of solar energy at seven facilities.
  • Our Zaragoza, Spain facility was the world’s largest industrial rooftop solar installation until 2012.
  • We are one of the largest industrial users of landfill gas in the United States.
  • We reduced CO2 emissions by 28% between 2005 and 2010 and 5.3% from 2010 to 2012.
  • Chevrolet is investing up to $40 million in carbon-reduction projects across America.

Reducing Energy Use

Being smart about our energy use is great for the environment and saves us money. For example, lighting upgrades and other efficiency projects save us $2.5M per year at Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly—home of the Chevrolet Volt.

By using energy-efficient lighting, tracking hourly consumption, upgrading to more efficient heating and cooling systems, and shutting down equipment when it’s not used, we reduced energy use at our global facilities 28% on a per-vehicle-produced basis between 2005 and 2010. These savings reduced greenhouse gas emissions by about 3.34 million metric tons during that timeframe. From 2010 to 2012, we reduced it another 7%.

And our efforts are getting recognized:   

  • We have eight ENERGY STAR®certified facilities. These buildings perform in the top 25thpercentile of similar facilities nationwide in terms of energy efficiency.
  • We received an EPA ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year - Sustained Excellence award, the organization’s highest level of recognition for corporate energy management.
  • We met EPA’s ENERGY STAR® Challenge for Industry at 63 plants worldwide. Their efforts saved $162M and avoided greenhouse gases equivalent to powering 244,000 U.S. homes.

We also strive to build and renovate in an environmentally responsible way. We have facilities with gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program: Lansing Delta Township Assembly in Lansing, Mich., our GM Shanghai campus, and our Enterprise Data Center in Warren, Mich. When it first opened, the Lansing Delta Township building was the largest industrial project to receive LEED certification. When constructing a new facility or upgrading existing ones, we follow LEED green design and construction practices regardless of whether we apply for certification.

Renewable Energy

We believe in harnessing power from the sun, water and landfill gases, and are one of the leading users of renewable energy in the manufacturing sector. In fact, the Solar Energy Industries Association named us a Solar Champion for our impact on helping to establish a strong solar industry in the United States. We host two of the five largest rooftop solar arrays in the world and we’re among the top 25 commercial solar users in the U.S.

Our goal is to promote the use of 125 megawatts of renewable energy by 2020 and we’re already halfway there. Half of our electricity at our California distribution center is powered by the sun; it was the first U.S. public solar project over 1 megawatt when it began operating in 2006. And, nine of our facilities feature solar charging canopies on their grounds.

We’re also one of the largest industrial users of landfill gas in the United States. Three of our manufacturing facilities use it as an energy source, generating $3.5 million in savings in 2011. Additionally, our GM do Brazil manufacturing facilities use 15MW of biomass-generated-electricity from sugar cane.

Reducing Emissions

As a result of our energy-efficiency initiatives, our global facilities achieved a 28% reduction in CO2 emissions on a per-vehicle-produced basis between 2005 and 2010. We reduced it another 5.3% from 2010 to 2012.

To supplement traditional efficiency initiatives, Chevrolet is investing up to $40 million in various carbon-reduction projects throughout America with a goal to reduce up to 8 million metric tons of CO2 emissions over the next five years. We estimate our carbon-reduction goal equates to the emissions released in 2011 from driving the 1.9 million vehicles Chevrolet sold in the United States between November 18, 2010 and December 31, 2011.


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