A new article from the Detroit Free Press has revealed that General Motors’ Chevrolet brand leads all other corporations in purchasing carbon offsets, thanks to an effort from the automaker to be the first to reach carbon neutrality.
Based on the findings of a report by Forest Trends’ Ecosystem Marketplace – a nonprofit devoted to sustaining America’s forests – Chevrolet purchased 4.6 million metric tons’ worth of greenhouse gas offsets credits between 2012 and 2013. By the end of this year, that quantity is expected to grow to 8 million metric tons.
The idea of buying up other companies’ carbon-reduction offsets was spawned back in 2009, according to GM Director of Sustainability David Tulauskas. Chevrolet was attempting to forge ahead by becoming the industry’s first carbon-neutral automaker. Remarks Tulauskas: “Our thoughts were that people who are interested in this probably were not buying Chevrolets at the time. Now it’s part of what Chevrolet is.”
Admittedly, Chevrolet has yet to reach that goal, but it has had a positive effect on environmentalists’ perception of the brand. The automaker has purchased plenty of carbon offsets from Universities around the country, so that the institutions could afford projects which promote sustainability. And toward the end of last year, the car company bought 40,000 tons’ worth of offsets in order to ensure that 11,000 acres of privately-owned North Dakota grasslands remained undeveloped.