General Motors became today the first automaker among 40 major U.S. companies to sign a “Climate Declaration,” collectively asserting that responding to climate change is good business.
The campaign is organized by sustainable business advocacy group Ceres and its Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy, or BICEP, coalition.
GM’s participation was announced today at the Ceres Conference in San Francisco.
Signers of the declaration are calling for policymakers to address climate change by promoting clean energy, boosting efficiency and limiting carbon emissions – strategies GM said it is employing within its operations as it seeks to reduce the environmental impact of manufacturing.
“We want to be a change agent in the auto industry,” said Mike Robinson, GM vice president of Sustainability and Global Regulatory Affairs. “As our world faces issues like congestion and climate change, we are at the forefront in transforming the way we move, from building more efficient vehicles to partnering with car-sharing startup Relay Rides.”
According to Gallup and Yale University polls, respectively, a majority of Americans believe climate change is happening and that corporations, as well as government officials, should be doing more to address the issue.
In March, GM CEO Dan Akerson called on President Obama to appoint a Blue Ribbon Commission to develop a 30-year policy framework for energy security.
Worldwide, the American automotive manufacturer said it is dedicated to energy efficiency and is working toward a goal of reducing energy intensity from its facilities by 20 percent between now and 2020.
GM currently has 54 facilities that meet the voluntary ENERGY STAR Challenge for Industry, which requires facilities to reduce energy intensity by 10 percent within five years.
Said GM facilities cut energy intensity by an average of 26 percent within just two to three years, saving the company $90 million in energy costs.
GM also declared it is the No. 1 automotive user of solar power in the United States and hosts two of the five largest rooftop solar arrays in the world. GM’s goal is to promote the use of 125 megawatts of renewable energy by 2020.
Beyond offering fuel-efficient vehicles in its brand’s lineups, GM said it is investing up to $40 million in the Chevrolet Carbon Reduction Initiative, in which Chevy helps financially in community-based carbon-reduction projects throughout the United States with a goal of reducing up to 8 million metric tons of CO2 emissions.