General Motors-owned Chevrolet will invest $40 million in various clean energy projects throughout America, with a goal to reduce 8 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

The initiative is based on projects that promote energy savings, renewable energy, responsible use of natural resources and conservation in communities across the US, the company said in a statement.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 8 million metric tons equals the CO2 emissions of one year of electricity use in 970,874 homes or the annual carbon reduction from 1.7 million acres of pine forest.

Chevrolet's investment is an extension of the environmental initiatives we've been undertaking for years because the solution to global environmental challenges goes beyond just vehicles, said General Motors CEO Dan Akerson. 

 Chevrolet's clean energy investments to be implemented in the next three to five years may include projects such as:

    * Providing energy efficient technology such as smart energy sensors and solar panels to schools and other community-based facilities in need of upgrades to decrease carbon dioxide emissions and reduce heating bills

    * Supporting wind farms and solar projects that deliver renewable energy to the grid and also help family farms increase their revenues per acre

    * Capturing flammable methane from community landfills that delivers clean energy to the grid and improves local air quality and safety

    * Contributing to forestry projects throughout America

Since 1990, GM has decreased its manufacturing emissions by 60 percent. GM also has invested hundreds of millions of dollars to build fuel-efficient vehicles. Other GM initiatives include reducing water use by nearly 35% between 2005 and 2009 at manufacturing facilities worldwide; decreasing fossil fuel at GM plants by using landfill gas, hydro and solar power; recycling 90% of the waste the company generates; and operating 75 landfill-free facilities, more than half of its manufacturing plants globally.