December 8, 2004
GM to reduce stationary CO2 emissions by 8 percent by 2005
Detroit, Michigan – General Motors recently announced it is on target to meet its voluntary goal to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from its facilities by eight percent in five years from 2000 levels. This is an unprecedented commitment from any corporation, to date.
GM is nearly three-quarters of the way toward its global CO2 emissions reduction goal and has reduced its CO2 emissions by more than 1.1 million metric tons, to date. To put that in to perspective, the decrease is on par with the annual emissions from the power consumed by 143,000 U.S. households.
“Decreasing our global stationary CO2 emissions contributes to a more sustainable future,” stated Beth Lowery, GM vice president, Environment and Energy. “That’s why we are working each day to develop and institute new and innovative means of lessening our environmental impact.”
One such example is GM2100, an interactive internal website that helps the company monitor and measure its energy use around the world and the related CO2 emissions. This, in turn, allows for managing or implementing energy conservation procedures, like idling paint shops on weekends and vacations.
To date, energy and emissions data is being collected from 155 facilities around the globe, providing a more complete picture of GM’s global utility use.
In addition to reducing CO2 emissions through technological advancements, alternative fuels and more efficient manufacturing operations, GM is looking into future, alternative applications for reducing its CO2 emissions. One possibility lies in carbon sequestration. By planting (reforestation) and preserving trees, the natural process of photosynthesis is able to capture CO2 from the atmosphere.
“Since 1990, we have planted more than one million trees in the U.S.,” said Lowery. “These trees have captured an estimated 5,616 metric tons of CO2 in 2003 alone and have sequestered 29,809 metric tons of CO2 since its inception. The program is a prime example of how businesses can explore creative solutions to industry issues.”
Also, GM has donated U.S.$10 million to The Nature Conservancy and Sociedade de Pesquisa em Vida Selvagem (SPVS) to establish the Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest Project. To date, approximately 160,000 trees have been planted on deforested land equaling nearly 20,000 acres of existing rainforest that will be preserved for future generations.