General Motors reduced carbon and energy intensity by 11 percent each between 2010 and 2014, according to its latest sustainability report. This puts the auto manufacturer more than half way toward its 2020 goal of a 20 percent reduction against a 2010 baseline.
GM reduced the average CO2 tailpipe emissions of its US fleet by 6.3 percent in 2014 against a 2011 baseline. It is targeting a 15 percent reduction by 2017.
GM reduced total waste 23 percent in 2014 against a 2010 baseline. The company’s goal is to become the first automaker to have 100 percent of its manufacturing sites sending zero waste to landfill. Of its 150 facilities, 122 had achieved landfill-free certification by the end of 2014.
The company’s recycling and reuse efforts in 2014 totaled 2.5 million metric tons, resulting in the avoidance of more than 10 million metric tons of CO2-equivalent emissions.
Global water intensity dropped 11 percent in 2014 against a 2010 baseline. GM is within site of its 2020 goal of a 15 percent reduction.
In 2014, the company ended the use of coal as an energy source in its North America plants. It now uses 105 MW of renewables — up from 66 MW last year — and will exceed its 125 MW commitment in 2016 with a new wind project. GM recently added four solar arrays, expanded landfill gas use at facilities in Orion Township, Michigan, and Fort Wayne, Indiana, and uses process steam generated from municipal waste at its Detroit-Hamtramck plant.
GM has also partnered with a number of organizations during the last year to help address sustainability challenges that face the automobile industry. For example, the company has partnered with the US Business Council for Sustainable Development on building reuse networks where one organization’s waste can be an input for another company, entrepreneur or artist. It is also working with suppliers to review opportunities to reduce their carbon and water footprints through the CDP Action Exchange.