It all started when we announced we had become the first automaker to sign a “Climate Declaration”, asserting that responding to climate change is good for business. Mike Robinson, our vice president of Sustainability & Global Regulatory Affairs, said it best when he said that GM wants to be a change agent in the auto industry.
Our quest to do just that was furthered when we earned the highest recognition a corporation can receive from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in the form of its 2013 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence.
(It preceded another EPA announcement that 63 of our facilities met the U.S. EPA ENERGY STAR® Challenge for Industry program – a voluntarily effort to reduce energy consumption ten percent within five years.)
Halfway through the year we released our 2012 Corporate Sustainability Report. It furthered the notion that products, manufacturing, and the environment can go hand-in-hand. We made some bold statements – like putting 500,000 vehicles on the road with some form of electrification by 2017.
Our big renewable energy story involved solar, as we announced completion of a 1.8-megawatt solar array on top of our Toledo Transmission plant. It is the largest rooftop array in Ohio and will generate nearly three percent of the facility’s power.
Finally, just before the ball dropped on 2013, we announced that our global headquarters became the company’s 110th landfill-free facility, meaning all waste from daily operations – and we do mean all of it – is recycled, reused or converted to energy. This announcement was particularly significant because of the cooperation between GM and the building’s 27 retailers, 11 business tenants, and tallest all-hotel skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere.
We’ll begin the new year quickly with a renewable energy announcement and an energy announcement that you’ll just have to wait to read about.
But before we sign off, we wanted to ask a question of you, the reader:
Are there any topics you would like us to chime in on? Is there a story idea that would fit within the digital pages of our blog?
If so, leave a comment and we’ll do our best to address it in 2014.
And if we don’t talk to you again, happy New Year from the GM sustainability team.