Recycle, reuse, and sustainability: three words that are all the rage in the “green” community and are accepted with smiles, nods, and great enthusiasm from pretty much every business and business leader. But when the rubber meets the road, only a select few organizations really put forth a true effort to be responsible to the environment globally and locally. Luckily, General Motors is among those few.
The automaker considers all of the byproducts that come about from its operations as useful and marketable, and is now counting $1 billion in revenue annually from byproduct recycling and reuse. The automaker is looking to increase its landfill-free facilities from 104 today to 125 by 2020, and credits its waste-reduction leadership to its strong network of partners and suppliers throughout the country. Most recently, GM announced that it plans to increase its recycling infrastructure throughout the country, starting with the Southeast United States, thus tackling the waste problem region-by-region.
“Compared to other regions where GM has plants, the Southeast has opportunity to build up its recycling economy,” said John Bradburn, GM manager of waste-reduction efforts. “By connecting local recyclers – and those with potential – with area companies, we can start to address the gaps and build a more robust infrastructure that will help the auto industry and beyond to leave a smaller footprint.”
In moving to implement its goal, The General helped form the Suppliers’ Partnership for the Environment Southern Network and hosted a group of automakers, suppliers, recycling partners, and government officials at its Spring Hill, Tennessee complex on February 19th, where it discussed waste-reduction challenges, recycling opportunities, and capability.
Due to the great amount of recycling, reuse, and sustainability possibilities, it’s nearly impossible to go it alone in the field.
“No one entity can solve this challenge; it will take many people to help transform how businesses manage their waste”, said Bradburn.
A number of GM projects — from helping insulate sleeping bags for the homeless and turning oil-soaked booms into parts for the Chevrolet Volt — stemmed from collaborating with the Supplier’s Partnership network.
“Companies are increasingly integrating sustainability into their businesses,” said Jamie Stitt, deputy assistant commissioner for business development, Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development. “With economic growth, it’s important to simultaneously develop the infrastructure that supports environmental initiatives.”
The GM Authority Take
We wish GM and its partners continued success in their green endeavors, as it not only benefits the planet on the global and local levels, but — when done right — it can also be more effective when it comes to cost and time efficiency. Simply look no further than the $1 billion a year number for proof.
Keep on rocking in harmony, GM!