April 30, 2012

GM Named Michigan Green Leader for Landfill-Free Program

The Detroit Free Press has named General Motors a Michigan Green Leader for growing its landfill-free program in 2011.

The annual competition recognizes businesses, individuals and organizations working to make the state a greener place to live and work.

John Bradburn, manager of waste reduction efforts at GM, accepted the award at a ceremony Friday in Detroit. The Green Leaders judges selected GM and 16 other winners from more than 100 entries across the state.

Last year, GM added eight manufacturing and nine non-manufacturing facilities to its landfill-free list, bringing the count to 81 and 16, respectively, that reuse, recycle or convert to energy waste created in daily operations. It has added two more to its roster since then.

Facilities employed waste-reduction tactics such as reworking pallets to form wood beams for the homebuilding industry and reusing absorbent pads for cleaning oil and water. At its Customer Care and Aftersales headquarters in Grand Blanc, Mich., the grounds—a wildlife habitat certified by the Wildlife Habitat Council—feature scrap Chevrolet Volt battery covers GM engineers converted into duck nesting boxes.

“This program helps us reduce our footprint while creating environmental awareness among employees and communities,” said Bradburn. “It’s also good for our bottom line as we further optimize waste streams for efficiency and generate revenue from our byproducts.”

GM is dedicated to sharing its best practices and often provides companies with plant tours to teach them how to reduce waste and increase recycling. Facilities also engage the community with events like litter clean-ups and household recycling programs.

GM is building on its 2010 landfill-free achievement; it recently committed to achieving 100 landfill-free manufacturing and 25 non-manufacturing sites by 2020.

If you know someone who should be considered for the awards and want to know when nominations open for the 2013 Green Leaders, email

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