DETROIT — General Motors has released its first global sustainability report as a new company, reinforcing its belief that sustainability goals are best achieved when integrated into its business model.
“Sustainability feeds our bottom line and sustaining a profitable business is our ultimate responsibility,” said GM Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson. “Profits enable reinvestment – in R&D to re-imagine a car’s DNA; in cleaner, more fuel-efficient technologies; in plants that better conserve resources; in improved vehicle safety; in job creation and stability; and in the communities in which we live and work.”
The report details sustainability progress in four sections:
- Design: Leading in the research and development of advanced technologies to help reduce petroleum dependency, improve fuel economy and reduce emissions.
- Build: Maximizing the benefits of operating our facilities in an environmentally and socially responsible manner.
- Sell: Offering sustainable vehicle choices for consumers around the world.
- Reinvest: Ensuring the company’s economic viability, being an employer of choice, and enhancing quality of life in its communities.
According to the report, what GM needs to grow its business is aligned with the needs of society – namely energy alternatives and advanced technologies that help reduce dependence on petroleum, improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions, and bold thinking about personal mobility in the 21st century.
“GM’s success depends in part on offering vehicles and services to solve these challenges while meeting customer needs,” said Akerson. “The Chevrolet Volt is a great example. During a time when we were fighting for our life as a company and managing through a global economic downturn, we still managed to launch one of the most environmentally sound and transformational vehicles in history.”
In the report, GM also announces its commitment to the following new set of environmental stewardship goals during the next decade:
- Reduce energy intensity from facilities by 20 percent.
- Promote use of 125MW of renewable energy by 2020.
- Reduce carbon intensity from facilities by 20 percent.
- Reduce volatile organic compound emissions from assembly painting operations by 10 percent.
- Protect water quality and reduce water intensity by 15 percent.
- Reduce total waste from facilities by 10 percent.
- Promote existing landfill-free facilities while working to achieve 100 landfill-free manufacturing sites and 25 non-manufacturing sites.
- Promote and engage in community outreach on environmental and energy issues by completing one outreach activity per plant on an annual basis.
- Secure Wildlife Habitat Certification (or equivalent) at each GM manufacturing site where feasible by 2020.
The report also includes a conversation with GM Vice President of Sustainability and Global Regulatory Affairs Mike Robinson on automotive industry challenges, climate change, affordability of advanced technologies and the regulatory environment.
“This company has come a long way in a short time, but we know it’s just the beginning,” said Akerson. “We need to, and will, do even better. This is the crux of the new GM: generating profitable growth that will allow us to improve what we make, how we make it and the communities where we make it.”