General Motors has announced that 52 percent of its worldwide facilities are now landfill-free, meaning all waste generated from normal operations is reused, recycled or converted to energy.
The carmaker now has 76 landfill-free facilities, achieving global operations commitment established in 2008 to convert 50 percent of its 145 plants to landfill-free status by the end of 2010.
On an average, over 97 per cent of the company's waste generated at one of its landfill-free facilities are recycled or reused. Furthermore, around three per cent of the waste is used to create energy to be reused as an alternative to fossil fuel, the company said in a statement. .
We're committed to reducing our environmental impact, said Mike Robinson, vice president of Environment, Energy and Safety Policy at GM. Whether it's a facility that's already achieved landfill-free status or one of the many that are nearly there, every site is serious about finding ways to reduce and reuse waste.
The company has recycled or reused 2.5 million tons of waste materials at its plants worldwide during this year - enough to fill 6.8 million extended-cab pickup trucks that if parked end-to-end would stretch around the world, it added.
In addition to the environmental benefits, recycling provides a strong business case, said Robinson. GM has generated more than $2.5 billion in revenue since 2007 through its various recycling activities.
Last month, General Motors-owned Chevrolet announced that it will invest $40 million in various clean energy projects throughout America, with a goal to reduce 8 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions.
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.
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.