Chevrolet announced today that it will invest $40 million in various clean energy projects throughout America with a goal to reduce 8 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions. The initiative is based on projects that promote energy savings, renewable energy, responsible use of natural resources and conservation in communities across the United States.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 8 million metric tons equals the CO2 emissions of one year of electricity use in 970,874 homes or the annual carbon reduction from 1.7 million acres of pine forest.
Chevrolet's clean energy investments to be implemented in the next three to five years may include projects such as:
"GM has made great progress in reducing our environmental impact, but we know we can do more," said General Motors CEO Dan Akerson. "Chevrolet's investment is an extension of the environmental initiatives we've been undertaking for years because the solution to global environmental challenges goes beyond just vehicles.
"This is an opportunity to connect with Chevy customers through clean energy projects that directly impact them," Akerson said.
GM estimates its new carbon-reduction goal equates to the emissions in 2011 from driving the 1.9 million vehicles Chevrolet is expected to sell in the United States over the next year.
"Chevy is an iconic emblem of America and it is a big deal that it is stepping forward to address one of our greatest challenges – moving us toward a low-carbon future," said Eileen Claussen, president of the Pew Center on Global Climate Change. "Chevy is clearly demonstrating that companies can act now and help propel clean energy solutions."
Since 1990, GM has decreased its manufacturing emissions by 60 percent. GM also has invested hundreds of millions of dollars to build fuel-efficient vehicles like the Chevrolet Cruze Eco, which gets an EPA-estimated 42 mpg on the highway, and the Chevy Volt electric car with extended-range capability. The Volt allows 25-50 miles of pure electric driving on a single charge after which a small gasoline engine/generator creates electricity for an additional 300 miles.
"Chevy's Volt and its clean energy investment both exemplify the bold leadership businesses can take today to address our changing climate," Claussen said." Its commitment to community-focused clean energy and energy efficiency investments will drive change and increase awareness across the country."
Other GM initiatives include reducing water use by nearly 35 percent between 2005 and 2009 at manufacturing facilities worldwide; decreasing fossil fuel at GM plants by using landfill gas, hydro and solar power; recycling 90 percent of the waste the company generates; and operating 75 landfill-free facilities, more than half of its manufacturing plants globally.
Chevy will be making investments through third-party organizations such as Bonneville Environmental Foundation, a nonprofit organization based in Portland, Ore. To define project criteria and the program's investment portfolio, GM has engaged environmental experts, non-government organizations and academics through the Climate Neutral Business Network. Advisors include:
"Chevy understands that to lead in the environmental arena it needs to collaborate with experts from outside its industry," said Goodstein. "Their engagement of NGOs and academia in development of the scope and strategy of this initiative shows their commitment to projects that will make the most impact across America's communities."
For more information about Chevrolet's clean energy investment initiatives, visit www.chevycarbonreduction.com. Also, for ongoing updates go to the ChevyCarbon Twitter handle, Facebook tab Cleaner Energy or GM's BeyondNow blog.
Comments on Chevy Commitment to Clean Energy
Here is a representation of what others are saying about Chevrolet's $40 Million clean energy commitment:
"Chevy is an iconic emblem of America and it is a big deal that it is stepping forward to address one of our greatest challenges – moving us toward a low carbon future. Chevy's Volt and its clean energy investment both exemplify the bold leadership businesses can take today to address our changing climate. Its commitment to community-focused clean energy and energy efficiency investments will drive change and increase awareness across the country. Chevy is clearly demonstrating that companies can act now and help propel clean energy solutions.
- Eileen Claussen, President Pew Center of Global Climate Change
"The Volt is a pioneering vehicle. To really change the future, cars like this will need to be powered off of clean energy. Chevy is taking a big leadership step here.
"Chevy did its homework. The $40 million will support new clean energy projects and leverage broader private sector investment in American jobs.
"Investments in clean energy create American jobs, and also increase our energy security. Chevy is leading the way towards a new kind of American car that runs on home-grown power."
- Professor Eban Goodstein, Director, Bard Center for Environmental Policy, Bard College and Founder, the Green House Network
"From the start, when Chevy decided to embark on this project, they immediately engaged third party non-profit and expert sustainability advisors to help inform, shape and guide their mission, commitment and investment strategy. This is another sign that corporations understand that to forge leadership in the sustainability arena they need to form collaborations with non-profit organizations such as the Earth Day Network and other community leaders.
"We appreciate Chevy's leadership in offering innovative solutions to global warming which can help create green jobs in our communities, improve energy efficiency and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.
- Kathleen Rogers, President, Earth Day Network
"Chevy is moving forward into the clean energy economy and demonstrating that one company can make a difference. By stepping up its efforts on low carbon technology like the Volt and investing in clean energy across America, Chevy is reaffirming its commitment to addressing climate change. By opening up their project to stakeholders like the Pew Center and others, Chevy also confirms it is seeking the best low carbon options – and we are happy to help."
- Janet Peace, Vice President, Markets and Business Strategy,
The Pew Center on Global Climate Change
"This is a big deal. – as significant as cutting annual carbon emissions to zero for all the businesses and households in Portland, Oregon – an entire city. Cities are working diligently to reduce carbon emissions, and this is the sort of leadership initiative that brings private and public efforts into alignment."
- Susan Anderson, Director, Bureau of Planning and Sustainability,
City of Portland, Ore.
"Clean Air-Cool Planet has found that cities and towns across America are thirsty for information about how to reduce energy use and costs and how to help consumers reduce carbon footprints, for assistance in setting goals and implementing conservation and renewable energy projects that have measurable results. It is important that a company with the profile of Chevrolet is stepping forward to inspire the transition to a low-carbon economy. "
- Bob Sheppard CFO & Vice President of the Corporate Program
"Local, community based investments like these not only create green jobs, save money and reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, they represent real solutions to global warming."
- Ruben Aronin, Director Communications, Global Green USA
"Through this initiative Chevy will singlehandedly deliver investments in clean energy and forestry equivalent to entire the portfolio of activities verified to date under the Climate Action Reserve's voluntary reduction program. It is a major and unprecedented contribution by a single company to achieving greenhouse gas reductions in communities throughout the United States."
- Derik Broekhoff, Vice President, Policy, Climate Action Reserve
"America's carbon innovation capacity requires the kind of support that Chevy is bringing forward. A low-carbon mindset is beginning to transform the way industry brings new products to market. Chevy's commitment to driving this change – not only within its own operations and though its efficient cars, but now through supporting carbon innovation capacity across America – is the type of leadership that is needed to mainstream these new low-carbon ideas and technologies.
"GM and Chevy have engaged a diverse stakeholder group to inform their process and provide guidance on how to bring a credible program to their consumers. This engagement and transparency is a major step in building a trusted relationship with their customers."
- Snehall Desai, Sustainability Marketer
"If driving towards a cleaner energy future were so easy, we'd all be there by now. Chevy is stepping up to tackle this challenge in bold and innovative ways by seeking input and advice from a remarkably diverse group of stakeholder experts. Together, they are honing a vision for how to invest in projects across America that will help build the energy systems needed to sustain the transformative cars of the future, like the Volt. This is the kind of leadership needed to create a future worth driving towards."
- Sue Hall, CEO, Climate Neutral Business Network
About General Motors – General Motors (NYSE: GM, TSX: GMM), one of the world's largest automakers, traces its roots back to 1908. With its global headquarters in Detroit, GM employs 209,000 people in every major region of the world and does business in more than 120 countries. GM and its strategic partners produce cars and trucks in 31 countries, and sell and service these vehicles through the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, Daewoo, Holden, Isuzu, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall, and Wuling. GM's largest national market is China, followed by the United States, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, and Russia. GM's OnStar subsidiary is the industry leader in vehicle safety, security and information services. General Motors acquired operations from General Motors Corporation on July 10, 2009, and references to prior periods in this and other press materials refer to operations of the old General Motors Corporation. More information on the new General Motors can be found at www.gm.com.