Tough problems often require outside perspectives. That’s the idea behind TACKLE, a GM-wide program where employees collaborate to solve complex challenges. Organized by iHub, GM’s internal incubator, TACKLE Challenges encourage employees to tap into their creative thinking and problem-solving skills. Employees can work alone, in teams, across functions and even across campuses.
Past challenges have focused on EV adoption, console storage, windshield wiper design and more. In 2019, we held our first Sustainable Workplaces Tackle, which focused on waste reduction. The prompt for employees was broad: “What can you do in your role to reduce, reuse and recover? What opportunities do we have to reduce waste and create a positive environmental impact with our individual spheres of influence?” The Tackle launched at GM’s first Sustainability Symposium. The response was overwhelming. More than 260 participants across 11 global locations submitted 124 solutions for consideration. The proposed solutions crossed functional areas, including additive printing, sustainable materials, process changes and facility improvements.
Over a two-month period, the ideas were tested and prototyped. Ultimately the 124 solutions narrowed down to five finalists who presented their projects to GM leaders. The winner was Laetitia Lopez, a creative designer in Color & Trim, who proposed repurposing scrap leather into accessory parts. We are currently exploring how to turn this innovative idea into a sustainable reality.