How GM and Ford Embed Sustainability Into New Buildings

How GM and Ford Embed Sustainability Into New Buildings

by Gina-Marie Cheeseman

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014 - 4:00pm



When someone thinks of a car company’s sustainability initiatives, electric or hybrid vehicles generally come to mind. However, at America’s two major car companies, General Motors (GM) and Ford Motor Company, green building is part of their sustainability programs. GM launched its Green Construction program in 2012. Now, all of GM’s construction sites follow environmental guidelines, which includes using curtains and barriers to reduce airborne particles like dust and dirt from being released into the atmosphere. Other guidelines include using rechargeable battery-powered equipment to reduce energy use onsite, and making recycling easier by separating materials. 
GM embeds recycling and reuse into the construction process. Through recycling and reuse, GM has reduced the weight of construction debris per project by 90 percent. GM’s facilities recycled 234,867.5 cubic yards of soil and earth excavation this past year, an amount large enough to cover almost half of a football field. GM’s facilities also recycled 77,535 tons of steel, equivalent to the steel used in about 57,433 cars. 

Photo: General Motors

Gina-Marie Cheeseman is a central California-based journalist who writes about sustainability, environmental issues, and healthy living. With a degree in journalism and a passion for social responsibility, she writes for a number of online publications. She believes that collaboration between the public and private sectors can help solve many problems facing the planet and its people. named Cheeseman as one of the “75 Environmentalists to Follow on Twitter.”