GM Bio-Diversifies Portfolio by Investing in Wildlife

In honor of International Day for Biological Diversity, we take a look at how GM protects ecosystems across 5 continents
May 22, 2015 12:40 PM ET
GM’s Guangde Proving Ground wildlife habitat includes a 27,000-square-foot pollinator garden and wetland. The habitat is one of 15 new programs recognized by the Wildlife Habitat Council and the first certified program in China by any company.

Today is International Day for Biological Diversity, the United Nations’ annual observance to increase understanding and awareness of issues affecting ecosystems. But here at GM, it’s no different than any other day. Our employees have a tangible, positive impact on biodiversity every day by actively managing nearly 5,000 acres of wildlife habitat across the globe.

From establishing wetlands at our manufacturing sites or building Volt nesting boxes with youth to increase community awareness about wildlife preservation, we’re committed to protecting our natural resources and mentoring others.

Why do we do it? It’s not because we like watching the flowers bloom in our gardens (though we do) or because peregrine falcon chicks are so adorable (though they are). Our natural resources have business value as well as aesthetic value and we work to protect them.

Here’s a look at how we’re advancing biodiversity internationally:

  • Our Guangde Proving Ground in China features a 27,000-square-foot pollinator garden and wetland. Pollinators – rapidly declining worldwide – are critical to the reproduction of 90 percent of flowering plants and one third of human food crops worldwide.
  • Last year our team from Vauxhall’s headquarters in the U.K. launched the “Vauxhall Forest,” an initiative to plant 333 native broadleaf trees in England’s Warwickshire county that will support wildlife habitat and sustainable forestry. In collaboration with a local online retailer, Vauxhall employees, suppliers, clients and family members who purchased items through a shopping portal had a tree planted in their name. Our assembly plant in Ellesmere Port also features an onsite wildlife habitat certified by the Wildlife Habitat Council.
  • Our facilities in Joinville and São Caetano do Sul, Brazil, constructed containment lakes used to recycle their organic wastewater. The lakes also function as a living classroom – our environmental engineers invite local schools to tour the plants and teach them how sustainable manufacturing practices help preserve local watersheds and the flora and fauna that rely on them.
  • Tonawanda Engine and several other facilities in the U.S. and Canada work with Boy Scouts and other groups to host workshops that transform scrap Chevrolet Volt battery cases into homes for wood ducks and bat populations under threat due to white nose syndrome. The hands-on activity teaches youth how they can reduce waste while benefiting wildlife.
  • In the water-stressed region of northern Mexico, the GM team at our Ramos Arizpe Complex in Mexico installed a three-acre artificial lagoon that provides a natural wetland habitat for migrating and local birds.