In an environmental sense, General Motors might be considered the anti-Volkswagen, garnering significant favor with the EPA through their conservation efforts. Recently, GM earned its fifth Environmental Protection Agency ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year award for "leadership in protecting the environment through superior energy efficiency."
What does this mean for General Motors customers? Energy savings mean financial savings, so the company can invest more money into new product innovations and offerings.
GM Spends Less and Conserves More
In 2015, GM managed to reduce the amount of energy used to produce each vehicle they manufactured in U.S. plants by 5.6%. Their efforts resulted in the company being able to avoid $247 million in energy costs, and they reduced their carbon emissions by 1.8 million metric tons.
Regarding the company's dedication to environmental responsibility, GM executive vice president of Global Manufacturing, Jim DeLuca, said:
"GM reinvested $7.4 billion to develop safer and more fuel-efficient vehicles with reduced emissions last year. We're continually in pursuit of innovative technologies to reduce the environmental impact of driving, as well as practices that lesson the carbon footprint of manufacturing those vehicles."
And General Motors has developed this strong conservation philosophy over decades. The company joined EPA ENERGY STAR as a partner over 20 years ago and has developed and strengthened this relationship by successfully using several of its programs.
How General Motors Leads the Green Initiative
Even though GM is saving a lot of money with energy conservation efforts, the company clearly isn't just concerned about their bottom line. Through various programs and initiatives, General Motors has shown that they are motivated to educate consumers, give back to the community and have a positive impact on the environment for years to come.
- They recently became an EPA Green Power Partner, pledging to work with the organization to advance clean energy use. As proof that GM is fulfilling this promise, the company's Fort Wayne assembly plant is a "top 30" generator of onsite green power, with 30% of their power coming from methane captured at a nearby landfill.
- They use EPA SmartWay to redesign shipping routes. In 2015, through mode changes, optimizing drop-off frequency and altering delivery frequency, General Motors avoided 116,000 tons of carbon emissions. This is equivalent to the carbon emissions that would result from burning over 13 million tons of gasoline.
- They educate employees and their families about the benefits of energy conservation by enabling young visitors at the company's headquarters to make an environmental pledge during their annual "Take Your Child to Work Day" and by hosting regular lunchtime energy information events.
- Last year, GM hosted three #CleanEnergyU Twitter chats in order to encourage Millennials to take an active interest in climate change. They also became one of the first 13 companies to sign the White House American Business Act on Climate Pledge.
- GM customers (or any interested party) can visit their new website, generalmotors.green, to learn more about the company's ongoing energy efficiency initiatives.
If the environmental views of General Motors are consistent with your own, and you would like to show support for the company, consider making a GM product your next vehicle. You may be pleased to learn that two cars manufactured by the company, the Chevrolet Spark EV and the Chevrolet Volt were included in the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy's annual list of the nation's "greenest" vehicles.
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