GM, along with a few other major corporations such as Dow, voluntarily set a goal of reducing its stationary CO2 emissions by 8% from 2000 levels. In other words, GM signed up to meet Kyoto standards even though the US has not, and apparently will not, ratify the treaty.
The company recently announced that it is nearly three-quarters of the way toward its global CO2 emissions reduction goal and has reduced its CO2 emissions by more than 1.1 million metric tons, to date. To put that in to perspective, the decrease is on par with the annual emissions from the power consumed by 143,000 U.S. households.
The company uses an interactive internal website to monitor and measure its energy use around the world and the related CO2 emissions. This, in turn, allows for managing or implementing energy conservation procedures, like idling paint shops on weekends and vacations. To date, energy and emissions data is being collected from 155 facilities around the globe, providing a more complete picture of GM’s global utility use.
GM is also looking into carbon sequestration as a means of further emissions reductions. (Under Kyoto, sequestration counts toward reduction.)
General Motors is among the companies that see economic benefits from pushing to reach Kyoto standards. “Independent of politics, going after reducing CO2 makes real business sense because it usually means going after energy use,” said Kristen Zimmerman, who runs the automaker’s energy management strategy. Bloomberg.
First of all, this is a good thing, and kudos to GM for getting on with it. The last point about making business sense is exactly right. Now, if GM would just apply the same focus to its mobile sources —i.e., the cars it sells. The point about reducing CO2 meaning reducing energy use holds true there as well, and that should be the second major incentive for mobile source CO2 reduction—getting the oil needle out of our collective arms.