Innovation: Environment

Resource Preservation

We help preserve natural resources and enhance habitats surrounding our facilities.

Summary

  • We reduced water consumption by 35% at worldwide facilities between 2005 and 2010 and by 9% from 2010 to 2013.
  • GM volunteers mentor 8,500 students each year on how actions impact local watersheds.
  • We have more Wildlife Habitat Council certifications than any other automaker.
  • We dedicate more than 4,200 acres at our sites globally to wildlife habitats.

Water Conservation

We reduced water consumption by 32% at our facilities worldwide on a per-vehicle-produced basis between 2005 and 2010 by implementing water conservation tactics at each of our sites. From 2010 to 2013, we reduced it another 9%, moving us closer to a 15% water-intensity reduction by 2020. We share best practices so plants can compare their operations to others around the world and develop projects using proven methodologies. Whether it’s reusing water in pretreatment processes in our paint shops or capturing rainwater to feed manufacturing equipment cooling towers, we are committed to water conservation throughout our business.

This commitment extends to passing our environmental knowledge to tomorrow's problem-solvers. For 25 years running, we help educate youth on how their everyday actions impact local water systems through our GM GREEN program (Global Rivers Environmental Education Network). Each year, we match 8,500 students with GM volunteers to analyze water data, identify an issue of concern, and develop a community project to address it. During that time, thousands of GM employees have volunteered, educating more than 100,000 students.

Habitat Preservation

For many of our employees, it’s common to see various animals and birds outside their windows and walls. We strive to increase native biodiversity at our facilities and have 26 habitat programs around the world certified by the Wildlife Habitat Council—more than any other automaker globally. WHC is a nonprofit organization recognizing outstanding habitat management and environmental education efforts at corporate sites.

Some common features include walking trails, native tree plantings, butterfly gardens, rain gardens to control storm water runoff, restored prairie and wetlands, and bat and duck nesting boxes. Take our Grand Blanc, Mich. facility, for example. There, a volunteer group of GM workers keeps the 46-acre site a haven for all species, whether it’s donating butterfly-attracting plants, building bluebird houses, or collaborating with local community partners on earth day programs.In just a year, the number of birds on the grounds increased 72%, flora increased 65% and mammals increased 20%.

Across our organization globally, we actively manage 4,200 acres dedicated to wildlife habitats. We work with various local schools, non-government organizations, and environmental preservation groups to enhance these areas and increase community awareness about preservation.

Our goal is to secure wildlife habitat certification (or equivalent) at each of our manufacturing sites where feasible by 2020.

  

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