Chevrolet further proved the environmentally friendly nature of its Volt plug-in EV in the days leading up to the NASCAR race at Darlington Raceway in South Carolina last weekend. Sustainability experts from the company and a team of students helped transform scrap Volt battery cases into nesting boxes for the wood duck, an important species to the South Carolina area.
The nesting box idea was thought up by Chevy’s global waste-reduction manager, John Bradburn. They partnered up with NASCAR to plant some of the boxes in and around the area surrounding the Darlington track, which is home to several acres of protected wetlands. Spring is also an important time for the nests to be distributed as wood ducks begin to look for a safe place to lay eggs.
GM Sustainability Program Manager Mary Alice Kurtz and Pamela Jamieson, an environmental engineer at Detroit Hamtramck Assembly, where the Volt is built, led the project in South Carolina.
“I think we got the students to start thinking of waste differently,” Kurtz said. “It’s all about training yourself to think of ways to repurpose an object so it remains useful and doesn’t end up in the ground.”
Jamieson said she enjoyed demonstrating the process and working with the students on the houses.
“This is a project that helps kids think about all the other creatures we share this world with and how our actions can make an impact,” she said.
General Motors says thinking of waste as a resource has produced several creative recycling and reuse opportunities for the company and help them achieve an industry-leading 110 landfill-free facilities around the world. The company even recycles to make vehicle parts, including taking used tires from proving grounds to recycle and make into air and water deflectors for the Volt, and mixing plastic packaging with other materials to make radiator shrouds for the Silverado.
GM also has 26 habitat programs certified by the Wildlife Habitat Council, more than any other automaker, and maintains more than 4,200 acres of wildlife habitat at various operations around the world.