January 30, 2013

GM Gets Serious – and Taken Seriously – with Renewable Energy

A study mentions GM as a company with committed environmental activity.

A recent study by Calvert Investments, Ceres and the World Wildlife Fund analyzed corporate commitments to renewable energy and greenhouse gas reductions.  In this report, GM is mentioned alongside AT&T, Google, HSBC, Procter & Gamble and Walmart  as companies that have committed environmental activity.

GM is just one of 15 Global 100 companies listed – and one of 13 Fortune 100 companies – that has set commitments for both renewable energy and greenhouse gas reductions. We’re committed to reduce energy intensity from our facilities by 20 percent, increase our renewable energy use to 125 MW by 2020, and reduce VOC emissions from assembly painting operations by 10 percent.

In fact, we were recently named the No. 1 automotive user of solar power in the U.S., generating 30 megawatts of solar power across our global facilities. Last year, we received an EPA ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year award and 54 of our plants recently met ENERGY STAR’s Challenge for Industry; these plants collectively saved $90M and avoided more than 1,256,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases.

How it affects the bottom line remains critical. And we know there’s a strong business case for being energy efficient, having saved more than $15 million in energy costs throughout 2011. For example, we:

  • Used an energy management dashboard system to save more than $3 million in energy costs.
  • Dedicated $12 million for implementation of energy cost-savings projects—an investment that paid itself off in less than a year.
  • Generated $2 million in additional savings from powering four facilities with landfill gas, a renewable energy source.

But our renewable energy efforts extend beyond financial benefits. By harnessing the power of the sun, for example, less power is drained from conventional energy systems, improving its efficiency and lowering utility costs to consumers.

While it’s great to be among great company in the report, we know there is plenty of room for growth. Every day, our environmental team works behind the scenes to make a more efficient GM. And if the team’s resolutions are any indication, we won’t miss a beat in 2013.

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