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Sustainable Construction

Designing for the Environment

Sustainable Materials Beyond the Vehicle

GM’s commitment to sustainability extends into global construction projects as well. In 2020, GM recycled over 140,000 tons of wood, metal, concrete and plastic produced in construction projects and found reuse initiatives for over 105,000 tons of concrete, soil, asphalt and other materials. Three key examples of GM’s sustainability commitments applied in construction projects are found at GM’s Factory ZERO, Spring Hill and Ultium Cells LLC (located in Lordstown).

Factory ZERO is a critical plant for GM’s electric future and a model of environmental sustainability. The most reuse cases for construction this year were applied at Factory ZERO, which is located in Hamtramck, Michigan—a culturally rich, 2-square-mile city nestled in the middle of Detroit. GM’s construction initiatives at Factory ZERO consider environmental and social sustainability by optimizing water management and communicating with the city mayor and leaders along the way.

Factory ZERO is located on a previously developed manufacturing site where GM is leveraging stormwater management and catering to biodiversity. Stormwater will flow through bio-swales, promoting infiltration, native revegetation and wildlife. All stormwater has extended detention in three ponds on site, and GM will recycle stormwater to reduce clean potable water use, reducing discharge to, and further treatment costs for, the city. GM is working with suppliers like Walbridge, Ghafari, Smith Group, Arcadis and more to ensure the construction projects are applying advanced technologies that accelerate GM’s sustainability commitments.

Another example of green construction is GM's application of CarbonCure, a concrete that absorbs 25 pounds of CO2 for every cubic yard that is laid. GM used CarbonCure this year in the development of a three-bay body shop extension and is evaluating additional uses for the concrete in other construction projects. Lastly, the Ultium Cells LLC construction site has been spending time developing 130+ acres of high-quality wetlands to replace wetlands impacted by the new electric vehicle battery cell manufacturing plant.