General Motors has outlined the latest progress on its effort to become more environmentally-friendly, and so far, so good. Among the highlights is reduced energy use by 7 percent, and reduced carbon emissions by 5 percent since 2010. The automaker has also increased its landfill-free facilities to 105, reducing its total amount of waste by 8 percent since 2010.
Looking forward, General Motors plans to reduce its average U.S. fleet carbon dioxide emissions by 15 percent by 2016 and Opel/Vauxhall fleet CO2 emissions 27 percent by 2020. One of the ways to achieve this goal is for GM to double the amount of 40 mpg cars it has on the road by 2017.
Now, when the uneducated read that GM will be adding more 40 mpg cars to the streets, they automatically think that they will all be nothing but underpowered, unrefined tin cans. Geo Metros. But as we’ve seen with the Corvette’s impressive 30 mpg highway rating and 455 standard horsepower, it could very well mean the best of both worlds.
In addition, GM has set a goal to get 500,000 vehicles with some form of electrification on U.S. roads by 2017. GM’s electrified vehicles today include the extended-range electric Chevrolet Volt, pure-electric Spark EV, as well as the Buick LaCrosse,Regal, Chevrolet Malibu and Impala with mild-hybrid eAssist technology.
What’s more, GM’s energy management helped reduce carbon intensity by 5.3 percent since 2010, making progress toward its 20 percent reduction commitment by 2020. In 2012, GM reduced 173,000 metric tons of CO2-equivalent emissions throughout its operations – equal to the carbon dioxide used by more than 4.4 million newly planted trees in the first decade of growth.
The company uses more than 60 megawatts of solar, landfill gas, and biomass energy at its facilities today, being nearly halfway to its goal of using 125 megawatts in renewable energy. GM also reduced the amount of energy required to build one vehicle by 7 percent and avoided $66 million in energy costs through conservation initiatives since 2010.
GM’s landfill-free program continues to grow around the world and produce bottom-line benefits, with an industry-leading 105 facilities that recycle, reuse, or convert to energy all waste from daily operations. By recycling and reusing 90 percent of its manufacturing waste worldwide, the company generates about $1 billion in revenue annually, having reduced total waste by 25 kilograms, or 55 pounds, per vehicle since 2010.