General Motors has been at the forefront of companies making the switch to renewable energy, waste reduction, and recycling programs.
For example, around the world, 107 General Motors plants, around the world, are landfill-free, meaning that 100% of the waste is reused on site or recycled. This kind of materials-efficiency is something that not only keeps many non-biodegradable materials out of landfills, but saves money and reduces emissions, as well. General Motors has also been implementing renewable energy sources into many of its facilities.
By 2020, General Motors plans on having 125MW of renewable energy powering its plants around the world. In 2011, for example, 512kW of solar power was added to its Detroit-Hamtramck plant. In the next six months or so, an additional 15.8MW of renewable energy will be fed into the plant. By Spring 2014, the plant will be powered by 58% renewable energy.
The new renewable energy source will be fed in from Detroit Renewable Energy, which processes a million tons of municipal solid waste annually. Trash comes in, and out comes 40,000 tons of recycled metal, as well as a substantial amount of electricity and steam. Detroit Renewable Energy will run a pipeline from one of its processing plants to the General Motors Detroit-Hamtramck plant, about 1.6 miles away.
This isn’t the first collaboration between the two companies, as hinted at by Rob Threlkeld, General Motors global manager of renewable energy, who said, “It made sense to explore this option with Detroit Renewable Energy at Detroit-Hamtramck, given their quality work in helping us manage our energy use at some of our other plants.”