Sustainability Strategy

Moving Toward Our Vision

General Motors’ sustainability strategy is synonymous with its business strategy: to deliver safer, simpler and sustainable transportation solutions for our customers. In doing so, we’ll realize our vision for personal mobility — a world with zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion.

Our strategy reflects today’s transportation revolution that is transforming how people move — an effect similar to the debut of the automobile more than a century ago. The vehicles leading this transformation are autonomous, electric, connected and shared. Throughout the company, we are focused on initiatives that capitalize on these new technologies and business models to create products, offer services and advocate for policy that looks at transportation as a system and mobility as a service. This will result in a world where sustainable transportation is a reality for daily life and enables communities to grow more prosperous and livable.


GM and Climate
Change Action

For nearly a decade, General Motors has been working to mitigate the effects of and increase awareness of climate change — from innovative technologies to transparent disclosure to industry collaboration.


Our Position on Climate Change and Fuel Economy Standards

change seriously. We acknowledged long ago that climate change is a reality and recognize that the transportation sector is a leading contributor to global GHG emissions. This is a driving force behind our vision of a future of zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion. Climate change and sustainability continue to be a focus of our business and have been incorporated into our enterprise risk management process. This designation ensures that these issues are at the forefront of daily decision-making and that we manage them at the highest levels of the organization. As an example, we recently held a cross-functional climate change workshop to assess the risks, challenges and opportunities associated with various 2-degree warming scenarios. See the Governance & Ethics section of this report for a full discussion of the workshop.

We have consistently and publicly advocated for climate action and awareness, as well as policies putting a value on carbon. These actions are documented in the timeline. Our global commitment to improving fuel economy, reducing emissions and an all-electric, zero-emissions future is unwavering, regardless of any modifications to existing emissions standards currently under review in the United States. In the U.S., we support modernizing the standards and creating one national program working with California and all stakeholders. This is why we’ve called for a U.S. National Zero Emissions Vehicle program, which is detailed here.

We intend to continue working with the California Air Resources Board, Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to improve fuel economy and our environment.

Our zero-emissions vision extends beyond products to our manufacturing operations, where we have committed to use 100 percent renewable energy by 2050. We are committed to transparent disclosure of our GHG emissions and actions we are taking to reduce them globally. We have consistently reaffirmed these points with our global employees and other stakeholders, including policymakers, regulators and shareholders.

Business Integration

We consider and integrate sustainability into every aspect of our business and value chain. This process creates positive benefits for our stakeholders, drives long-term success for GM and enables each employee at every level of our company to help build value for the customer. Our work is grounded in our values, with the customer as our compass to guide decisions, with strong and transparent stakeholder relationships, with excellence as our standard and with a commitment to seek the truth.

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Our Transformative Journey

General Motors Company began operation.

Introduced the Chevrolet Volt, the world’s first mass-produced electric vehicle with gas-powered extended range capability.

Partnered with Ceres to regularly engage with an external sustainability stakeholder advisory group.

Launched first high-volume automotive lithium battery packs and lithium-ion battery manufacturing site in the U.S.

Set 2020 manufacturing commitments for energy, carbon, water and waste intensity, as well as renewable energy utilization target.

Unveiled eAssist technology

Completed first CDP climate change and water disclosures.

Signed Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards regulation to implement the next phase of the harmonized federal program to regulate fuel economy and GHGs, including a midterm evaluation to review progress and make appropriate adjustments.

Introduced Chevrolet Spark EV and Cadillac ELR.

Announced product goals for electrification, fuel economy improvements and CO2 emissions reduction.

First major manufacturer to sign Ceres Business for Innovate Climate & Energy Policy (BICEP) Climate Declaration

Scored 100 on CDP transparency scale; joined CDP Supply Chain program.

Built on relationships with Duke Energy, Google, GE, conEdision and Cisco to research and develop charging infrastructure knowledge and best practices.

Introduced the EREV models in China, Australia and Europe.

Joined U.S. EPA SmartWay Transport Partnerships.

Introduced the Sail EV from Shanghai GM, the first EV developed for the Chinese market.

Expanded CDP Climate Change disclosure to all 15 categories of Scope 3 emissions.

Participated in first Dow Jones Sustainability Index.

Conducted life cycle analysis of energy, water and GHG emissions associated with parts production.

Expanded discussion of climate change risk in SEC 10-K filing.

Announced collaboration with Honda for development of fuel-cell technology.

Founding member of Business Renewables Center at the Rocky Mountain Institute.

Began to participate in key stakeholder dialogues around The 3% Solution: Driving Profits Through Carbon Reduction, an effort led by CDP and WWF.

Signed Renewable Energy Buyers’ Principles.

Achieved fuel efficiency of at least 30 mpg highway for about 40 percent of vehicles sold, with six U.S. models achieving an EPA-estimated 40 mpg highway.

Increased renewable energy use to over 100MW, which included more solar installations than any other U.S. automaker.

Signed American Business Act on Climate Pledge with a $140 billion commitment to low-carbon investments.

Signed a statement facilitated by the World Economic Forum in support of a positive outcome at Paris COP21 and for putting a value on carbons.

Became only North American automaker named to DJSI.

Concluded Chevy Carbon Reduction Initiative with $40 million investment in carbon reduction projects.

Introduced second-generation Chevrolet Volt EV.

Introduced the 2016 Malibu Hybrid, which used efficient fundamentals to increase fuel economy to an EPA-estimated 47 mpg city.

Introduced the Chevy Bolt EV.

Joined RE100, backed by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP, to accelerate renewable energy.

Formed 50-50 joint venture with Honda for fuel-cell production.

Announced the addition of a plug-in hybrid electric propulsion system to the Cadillac CT6 in China and U.S.

Introduced electrification road map for China, with plans to roll out more than 10 NEVs through 2020.

Avoided approximately 228K metric tons of carbon through vehicle lightweighting.

Reached 100 percent of 2020 renewable energy goal and committed to meeting all global facilities’ electricity needs through renewable energy by 2050.

Signed the Guiding Principles to Promote Electric Vehicles and Charging Infrastructure.

Achieved landfill-free manufacturing target four years early with a total of 152 landfill-free sites worldwide, which avoided over 9 metric tons of GHG emissions.

Eliminated all on-site coal emissions at operations.

Became first automotive company to commit to develop a pathway toward sustainable natural rubber for tires to combat deforestation.

Named to DJSI North America and World Sustainability Indices and CDP Climate and Supplier Climate A lists.

Counted five plug-in hybrids or EVs in China portfolio.

Announced vision for a world with zero crashes, zero emissions, and zero congestion.

Surpassed 2020 manufacturing carbon intensity commitment three years early with a 22 percent reduction against a 2010 baseline.

Honored with Motor Trend Car of the Year for the Chevrolet Bolt EV.

Continued fuel cell innovation with the introduction of a concept vehicle on a heavy-duty truck frame.

Introduced the Buick Velite 6 and the Baojun E200 as part of our EV portfolio in China.

Conducted internal scenario planning workshop on risks associated with global warming of two degrees.

Increased production of the Chevrolet Bolt EV.

Partnered with Honda to develop next-generation battery technologies.

Called for a National Zero Emission Vehicle Program program in the U.S. that would require automakers to incorporate ZEVs as an increasing part of their portfolio — up to 25 percent by 2030.

Launched a pilot program with Consumers Energy in Michigan to test smart charging for EVs.

Awarded the 2018 SmartWay Excellence Award, which recognizes the top 2 percent of SmartWay freight partners with superior environmental performance.

Announced Cadillac as the lead electric vehicle brand in the U.S.

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