GM Wildlife Habitats Grow Across Globe

Automaker manages 5,000 acres of wildlife habitat at 40 facilities

2014-11-12


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DETROIT – General Motors has received 15 certifications and three awards from the nonprofit Wildlife Habitat Council for establishing wildlife habitats and education programs at facilities in five countries, including the first certified program in China by any company.

The Wildlife Habitat Council’s Wildlife at Work and Corporate Lands for Learning programs recognize outstanding wildlife habitat management and environmental education efforts at corporate sites.

“GM truly understands the importance of establishing strategic corporate goals and objectives with the Wildlife Habitat Council and working to translate them into tangible and measurable on-the-ground actions,” said Margaret O’Gorman, president of the Wildlife Habitat Council.

GM maintains an industry-leading 43 certified programs and actively manages nearly 5,000 acres of wildlife habitat globally, representing 22 percent of the certified sites’ overall footprint. Features of some of the newly certified programs include:

  • A 27,000-square-foot pollinator garden at the Guangde Proving Ground in China. Pollinators – rapidly declining worldwide – are critical to the reproduction of 90 percent of flowering plants and one third of human food crops worldwide.
  • A three-acre artificial lagoon providing a natural wetland habitat for migrating and local birds at GM’s Ramos Arizpe Complex in Mexico. The lagoon is particularly important in the water-stressed region of northern Mexico.
  • Wetlands and containment lakes used for organic wastewater treatment at the company’s facilities in Joinville and São Caetano do Sul, Brazil. Employees showed students how sustainable manufacturing practices help preserve local watersheds and the flora and fauna that rely on them.
  • Bat nesting boxes made from scrap Chevrolet Volt battery covers at Tonawanda Engine and several other GM facilities in the U.S. and Canada. The structures are designed to help preserve bat populations under threat due to white nose syndrome.

Certification requires sites to apply for periodic renewal. Nine GM facilities earned recertification this year, having shown continuous growth of their habitats and environmental education programs.

“Enhancing biodiversity is a business priority and environmental imperative,” said Greg Martin, GM executive director for Sustainability. “These habitats also enable our employees to have a tangible, postitive impact on local conservation while strengthening relationships in the communities where they live and work.”

The Wildlife Habitat Council also recognized two individual plants with additional awards for programs that demonstrate exceptional commitment to conservation.

  • Lansing Delta Township earned Corporate Habitat of the Year, which recognizes one high-quality Wildlife at Work program each year for outstanding environmental stewardship. The plant also received the Wings Over Wetlands award in recognition of protecting wetland habitat for waterfowl and other migratory birds.
  • Arlington Assembly was named Corporate Lands for Learning Rookie of the Year, which recognizes a single, newly certified Corporate Lands for Learning program each year for outstanding environmental education, stewardship and voluntary employee efforts.

GM is committed to creating and securing wildlife habitat certifications or equivalent at each of its manufacturing sites where feasible by 2020.

For more information on GM’s environmental commitment, visit its sustainability report and environmental blog.

About General Motors

General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM, TSX: GMM) and its partners produce vehicles in 30 countries, and the company has leadership positions in the world's largest and fastest-growing automotive markets. GM, its subsidiaries and joint venture entities sell vehicles under the Chevrolet, Cadillac, Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling brands. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety, security and information services, can be found at http://www.gm.com.

About the Wildlife Habitat Council

Formed in 1988, the Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC) promotes and certifies habitat conservation and management on corporate lands through partnerships and education. WHC’s programs take corporate sustainability goals and objectives and translate them into tangible and measurable on-the-ground action. Through a focus on building collaboration for conservation with corporate employees, other conservation organizations, government agencies and community members, WHC programs focus on healthy ecosystems and connected communities. WHC-assisted wildlife habitat and conservation education programs are found in 44 states, the District of Columbia and 12 other countries. To learn more, visit www.wildlifehc.org

GM Wildlife Habitats Grow Across Globe

Sandhill cranes roam the habitat at GM’s Lansing Delta Township site. The Wildlife Habitat Council recertified the facility’s conservation and environmental education efforts this year. The plant also earned Corporate Habitat of the Year for its Wildlife at Work program and the Wings Over Wetlands award for protecting wetland habitat for waterfowl and other migratory birds. (Jeffrey S Hummel)

GM Wildlife Habitats Grow Across Globe

GM’s Ramos Arizpe Complex in Mexico features a three-acre artificial lagoon that provides a natural wetland habitat for migrating and local birds. The facility’s habitat is one of 15 new programs certified by the Wildlife Habitat Council for establishing conservation and education programs on company lands. Photo by Ken Precoor for General Motors.

GM Wildlife Habitats Grow Across Globe

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.

GM Wildlife Habitats Grow Across Globe

A fox prowls GM’s Cold Weather Development Centre in Kapuskasing, Ontario. The facility’s habitat is one of 15 new programs certified by the Wildlife Habitat Council for establishing conservation and education programs on company lands. (Jean-Pierre Couture)

The List: GM’s Certified Wildlife Habitat Programs

Habitat List

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