General Motors (GM) plans to become carbon neutral in its global products and operations by 2040 and has committed to setting science-based targets to achieve carbon neutrality. The company has also signed the Business Ambition Pledge, an urgent call to action from a global coalition of United Nations (UN) agencies, business, and industry leaders.
“General Motors is joining governments and companies around the globe working to establish a safer, greener and better world,” said Mary Barra, chairman and CEO of GM. “We encourage others to follow suit and make a significant impact on our industry and on the economy as a whole.”
In addition to GM’s carbon goals, the company worked with the U.S. Environmental Defense Fund to develop a shared vision of an all-electric future and an aspiration to eliminate tailpipe emissions from new light-duty vehicles by 2035. GM’s focus will be offering zero-emissions vehicles across a range of price points and working with all stakeholders, including EDF, to build out the necessary charging infrastructure and promote consumer acceptance while maintaining high quality jobs, which will all be needed to meet these ambitious goals.
“With this extraordinary step forward, GM is making it crystal clear that taking action to eliminate pollution from all new light-duty vehicles by 2035 is an essential element of any automaker’s business plan,” said Fred Krupp, president of EDF.
“EDF and GM have had some important differences in the past, but this is a new day in America — one where serious collaboration to achieve transportation electrification, science-based climate progress and equitably shared economic opportunity can move our nation forward.”
Electrification – The use of GM’s products accounts for 75 per cent of carbon emissions related to this commitment. GM will offer 30 all-electric models globally by mid-decade and 40 percent of the company’s U.S. models offered will be battery electric vehicles by the end of 2025. GM is investing $27 billion in electric and autonomous vehicles in the next five years – up from the $20 billion planned before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Renewable Energy – To address emissions from its own operations, GM will source 100 per cent renewable energy to power its U.S. sites by 2030 and global sites by 2035, which represents a five-year acceleration of the company’s previously announced global goal. Today, GM is the 10th largest offtaker of renewable energy in the world and in 2020, the company received a 2020 Green Power Leadership Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Carbon Offsets and Credits – To account for the expected remaining carbon emissions, GM expects to invest in carbon credits or offsets. The company will assess credit and offset solutions in the coming years as the most efficient, equitable and inclusive ideas mature. The company recognizes that offsets must be used sparingly and should reflect a holistic view of mitigating the effects of climate change and helping people thrive around the world.
Supply Chain and Infrastructure – GM’s carbon neutral commitment applies to its global product portfolio and owned operations. The company is implementing plans today to reduce the impact associated with its supply chain while supporting grids and utilities to power electric vehicles with renewable energy. GM has worked with some of its largest suppliers to create a sustainability council to share best practices, learn from each other and create new standards for the industry. In addition to the council’s work, GM is collaborating with suppliers to set ambitious targets for the supply chain to reduce emissions, increase transparency and source more sustainable materials.
Infrastructure in Canada – Subject to ratification of a tentative 2021 agreement reached with Unifor and confirmation of government support, General Motors plans to bring production of its recently announced BrightDrop electric light commercial vehicle, the EV600, to its CAMI manufacturing plant in Ingersoll, Ontario. The approximately $1 billion investment will support GM’s timing to deliver BrightDrop EV600 in late 2021. The investment will enable GM to make CAMI into Canada’s first large-scale auto plant converted to produce electric delivery vehicles in Canada.
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Featured image: Powered by the Ultium battery system, the BrightDrop EV600 is targeted to have an estimated range of up to 250 miles or 400 kms on a full charge and will have segment leading safety features.