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General Motors Company : GM Reports Operational and Product Sustainability Progress

11/14/2012 | 01:39pm US/Eastern
GM Reports Operational and Product Sustainability Progress Automaker highlights key initiatives in interim update to report

2012-11-14

DETROIT - General Motors released an interim update to its inaugural sustainability report, including updates and analysis, along with regional metrics for environmental commitments, product quality, material issues and disclosure.

"Sustainability is an important part of our success as a company - increasing efficiency of our operations to improve our bottom line while driving top-line growth through vehicles that meet customer needs," said GM Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson. "This report provides insight on how we are helping address global challenges and delivering value through a long-term commitment to safety, quality and environmental and social responsibility."

New report features include:

  • Focus on global activities with regional sustainability reports and metrics for 2020 environmental commitments
  • Third-party assurance of key plant and facility metrics
  • Updated product quality information
  • Analysis of material issues such as minerals coming from countries in conflict or with human rights issues, and fuel economy standards
  • Expanded disclosure based on the Global Reporting Initiative, a framework used by companies and organizations around the world.

GM has realized year-over-year gains against all of its 2020 environmental goals, from water conservation and renewable energy to emissions reduction.  The following operational and vehicle successes are detailed in the report:

  • Receiving an ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year award for global progress in energy efficiency from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
  • Meeting the ENERGY STAR Challenge for Industry to cut energy intensity by at least 10 percent within five years at 54 GM facilities around the world - more than any other company. The efforts saved GM $90 million annually while avoiding the release of 1.2 million metric tons of greenhouse gases.
  • Becoming the first auto company in Thailand to receive ISO 50001 energy efficiency certification, avoiding an estimated 4,000 tons of greenhouse gases at GM's assembly facility in the Rayong Province.
  • Achieving its 100th landfill-free facility, meaning a single household garbage bag represents more trash sent to a landfill than all of these global facilities combined.
  • Mentoring 9,312 students from nearly 100 schools on water quality in 2011 through GM GREEN, a partnership between all U.S. manufacturing sites and the nonprofit Earth Force to help youth understand how their actions impact watersheds.
  • Earning 21 Wildlife Habitat Council certifications for creating or enhancing wildlife habitats on GM properties around the world - more than any other automaker.
  • Supporting Landcare Australia, the country's largest environmental volunteer movement, for more than a decade through re-vegetation projects near GM Holden's major facilities. Recently, 60 employees from Holden's Engine Operations planted 900 trees at a former landfill site transformed into inner city parkland.
  • Pioneering an EcologicTM window label on all 2013 Chevrolet models to show consumers third-party-verified, vehicle-specific environmental features related to manufacturing, driving and recycling.
  • Selling 100,000 vehicles in March with an EPA-estimated 30 mpg highway or more - a first for a U.S. automaker. GM has more new nameplates and powertrain options on the way expected to provide even greater fuel economy, including the Chevrolet Cruze diesel, Opel Adam, Buick Encore compact crossover and Chevrolet Impala with eAssist.

GM delivered these results while maintaining a strong balance sheet. It has now recorded 11 consecutive quarters of profitability for the first time in more than a decade. A key factor for success has been leveraging investments in sustainable innovation like the Chevrolet Volt - the  world's best-selling plug-in vehicle - and core technologies that will drive even higher-volume vehicle electrification by expanding sales of the Volt to China and Australia and with new vehicles such as the Impala with eAssist, Chevrolet Spark EV, Cadillac ELR, and Opel Ampera in Europe.

"As a profitable business, we're able to do more, be proactive and maintain a long-term perspective," said Akerson. "Our commitment to sustainability is critical to profitability because re-shaping our business, brands and culture is not only for our stakeholders today, but for future generations as well."

The report covers the latest sustainability updates in key areas of GM's business model to design, build, and sell the world's best vehicles and create a self-sustaining cycle of reinvestment. The report includes data from late 2011 to mid-2012, while all metrics refer to the calendar year ending Dec. 31, 2011. With a baseline set  from GM's inaugural sustainability report earlier this year, the update includes 2011 data and enables a normalized cadence of reporting going forward.

For more information on GM's environmental commitment, visit www.gm.com/environment and its GMBeyondNow.com environmental blog.

General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM, TSX: GMM) and its partners produce vehicles in 30 countries, and the company has leadership positions in the world's largest and fastest-growing automotive markets.  GM's brands include Chevrolet and Cadillac, as well as Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Isuzu, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety, security and information services, can be found at http://www.gm.com.

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General Motors has published and an update to its inaugural sustainability report, which reinforces how environmental, social and economic sustainability efforts are integrated into the company's business model.
General Motors' sustainability model aligns with GM's vision to design, build and sell the world's best vehicles.
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