A sustainable vehicle goes beyond being electric
and incorporates responsible materials and a design to minimize
environmental impact at end-of-life.
As we transform our business to support production of electric vehicles (EVs), we are not only considering EoL reusability and recyclability but also working to ensure the use of sustainable materials in our vehicles from inception.
This will be accomplished through a comprehensive commodity management plan, which includes purchased steel, aluminum, plastics, EV battery cell materials, textiles and more. These materials—that represent more than 90% of the CO2 emissions generated by materials in our vehicles—have been identified as part of our implementation strategy. The plan drives collaboration with our suppliers and applies data-driven strategies that can be customized to the specific attributes of each commodity.
Our Materials Commodity Management Plan aims to procure increasingly sustainable materials via carbon emissions reductions through process innovation, recycled material content, renewable and fossil free energy for electricity and carbon capture utilization and storage.
We are collaborating with our plastics suppliers to advance circular economy practices and support the responsible utilization of resources. Some of their strategies to achieve those commitments include switching to renewable energy for electricity in their manufacturing processes, continued recycling efforts, incorporating biomaterials, improving processes in their own business and utilizing carbon capture technologies and carbon offsets. Our plastics suppliers are working to overcome common challenges in this industry, which include increasing costs, scaling issues and the quality of available feedstocks.
Steel and Aluminum
We are engaging with our direct materials suppliers regarding how to make these materials more sustainable. We expect supplier carbon-emissions reductions to be achieved using process innovation, recycled materials, renewable energy for electricity and carbon capture utilization and storage. GM will work to secure supply of low-CO2 metals and materials ahead of their availability at scale. Beginning in the first quarter of 2022, we became the inaugural customer of a Nucor Corp. line of net-zero carbon steel products called Econiq.
GM is a founding member of the Global Platform for Sustainable Natural Rubber, a multistakeholder initiative whose goal is to transition the natural rubber supply chain to a more sustainable model. The initiative now has more than 100 members, including Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs); tire manufacturers; rubber producers, processors and traders; nongovernmental organizations; and smallholder farmers. All members are expected to adopt a sustainability policy framework, which covers economic, social and environmental aspects of sustainability and will help protect ecological health, local livelihoods and fundamental human rights.
EV Battery materials
The EV battery materials commodity management plan uses a combination of supply chain carbon reduction, the incorporation of recycled materials and third-party partnerships to help ensure responsible sourcing. While utilizing critical recycled minerals is a significant focus for GM, the advancement of the EV landscape will continue to depend on the use of raw materials until the EV circular economy reaches maturity. Read more about our work with the Responsible Minerals Initiative.
Together with our suppliers, we are developing dozens of new textile materials from items such as recycled plastic bottles. We are committed to developing 35% recycled content on seat insert fabrics and 100% recycled yarn for future seat bolster fabrics, overhead fabrics, floor carpets, floor mats and more in our upcoming vehicles. Beyond textiles, we are continually researching new and innovative materials, including bio-based alternatives, lower-impact leather tanning practices and alternatives to chrome plating.