General Motors joins RE100 pledge to source 100% renewables

Automotive giant General Motors (GM) has established new sustainability commitments to source all electricity across its global operations from 100% renewable sources by 2050, and will join the RE100 to mobilise the transition.

GM is turning to all-renewable sources – including solar, wind and waste gas solutions –  to provide electricity to its 350 operations across 59 separate countries. This new initiative builds upon GMs previous goal of utilising 125MW of renewable energy by 2020.

The motor company is currently in the process of adding 30MW of solar arrays across two of its China facilities – with the Cadillac assembly plant in Shanghai installing 10MW of rooftop solar and its vehicle distribution centre in Wuhan adding 20MW of solar carports, covering 8,100 parking spaces.

On top of its in-house sustainability commitments, GM has joined 69 influential companies to make the RE100 pledge, which sees the company join other automobile manufacturers including BMW Group and TATA motors in a commitment to achieve 100% renewable power.

Commenting on the announcement, RE100 establishers the Climate Group’s North America executive director Amy Davidsen said: “This bold and ambitious commitment from GM will undoubtedly catch the attention of the global automotive industry.

“GM has already saved millions of dollars by using renewable energy, and like any smart business that recognises an investment opportunity, they want to seize it fully. We hope that through this leadership, other heavy manufacturing companies will be inspired to make the switch too.”

Generally Green Motors 

The news comes off the back of the announcement of Chevrolet’s – one of GMs four core divisions – first fully electric car, the Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicle (EV). The car has been widely praised for its effective range (estimated at around 238 miles per full charge) and practicality, and could provide serious competition to the upcoming Tesla model 3 in providing a true mass-market electric car solution.

GM is also providing a unique solution to the potentially intermittent and unreliable nature of renewable generation; utilising its own Chevrolet Volt EV batteries as an energy storage solution for its on-site generated electricity at its Milford proving ground data centre offices in the US.

As well as the company’s EV commitments, GM has adopted a closed-loop process in its manufacturing to promote resource efficiency. GM is now ensuring 95% of its 10,000 parts used throughout its vehicle portfolio are recyclable.

Alex Baldwin

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