General Motors Middle East’s Commitment to Sustainability Hits High Gear with 95% Reduction in Carbon Footprint by 2024

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Driving towards a global vision of Zero Crashes, Zero Emissions and Zero Congestion, General Motors Africa & Middle East (GM AMEO) is doubling down on its carbon footprint reduction across its Middle East Operations, Supply Chain and Distribution network.

Through a series of sustainability initiatives across its Middle East facilities, GM has confirmed it is currently saving 330 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year, rising to a saving of approximately 2,000 metric tons of CO2 annually by 2024 – totaling a 95% operational carbon footprint reduction annually. By 2035, GM operations in the UAE will have reduced carbon emissions by approximately 24,000 metric tons, equivalent to planting approximately 876,000 trees, from a 2022 baseline.

GM Middle East’s carbon footprint reduction will be spearheaded by the installation of solar panels at GM’s Middle East Distribution Center, the highest energy generating facility for GM in the UAE. 

The solar power project is scheduled to be complete in 2023 with 13,000 square meters of the latest-technology solar panels achieving 100% solar power for this facility.  

This announcement highlights GM’s environmental stewardship across its operations.  This regional reduction contributes to GM’s global commitment to reduce absolute Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions* 72% by 2035 from a 2018 base year.

These regional initiatives align with GM’s global commitment to prioritize climate actions, including building on the company’s philanthropic commitment to equitable climate action. Previously, GM had announced $50M had been committed to its global Climate Equity Fund, helping to close equity gaps in the transition to electric vehicles and other sustainable technology. This is in addition to GM’s $35 billion global investment in electric vehicle and autonomous vehicle programs, research, technology, manufacturing and charging infrastructure. 

“At General Motors, we are committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and transforming the communities where we work and live by striving towards zero crashes, zero emissions, and zero congestion.

“Climate action is a priority and every company must push itself to decarbonize further and faster. We are proud of the work being done to reduce our carbon footprint in the region as we continue to advance on our commitment to lead an all-electric, carbon-neutral future,” said Kristen Siemen, GM Vice President of Sustainable Workplaces and Chief Sustainability Officer.

Luay Al Shurafa, President and Managing Director, General Motors Africa and Middle East said, “Our commitment to sustainability here in the Middle East is clear through announcements such as this 95% reduction in annual operational carbon emissions and our plan to launch 13 all-new electric vehicles (EVs) in the region by 2025. Our goal is to be the industry leader in EVs and in the UAE we will have reduced our COâ‚‚ emissions by 24,000 metric tons by 2035. 

“As part of our strategy to help reduce emissions globally, we’re also planning to source 100% renewable energy globally by 2035 and from recycled metals to suede, we’re planning to use at least 50% sustainable material content in our vehicles by 2035. The transition to an inclusive zero emissions future supports and aligns with the UAE’s visionary and inspiring Green Agenda 2030 and NetZero 2050 initiatives. Building a better tomorrow cannot be done alone, strategic partnerships in the private and public sectors are crucial to our shared goals.”

These findings will form part of GM’s Middle East’s first-ever MENA ESG Intelligence Report in collaboration with Oxford Business Group (OBG), which will be published later in 2022.

GM Middle East sustainability highlights: 

Optimizing operations

– By 2024, GM Middle East will be saving approximately 2,000 metric tons of COâ‚‚ annually, representing a 95% reduction in operational carbon footprint.

– By 2035, GM in the UAE to reduce COâ‚‚ emissions by 24,000 metric tons, equivalent to planting approximately 876,000 trees.

– GM reduced its emissions footprint through energy conservation and efficiency changes at their offices and warehouses, by installing all locations with LED light fixtures and updating with motion sensors to save energy. In addition to this, placing GM energy efficient forklift battery chargers and energy efficient warehouse chiller cooling plant.

– For more than five years, all of GM’s Middle East facilities have reusable GM branded cups and plates, reducing plastic waste and single-use products.

– Toward the end of last year, GM installed water filter and purification systems, encouraging eco-friendly practices at work which can lead to their employees taking these habits into their personal lives as well.

Adding value through responsible sourcing

– In addition to the regular landscaping improvements, the Middle East Distribution Center (MEDC) planted 100 tree plants in 2021, equivalent to 2,200kg of CO2 emissions absorbed per year.

– All wooden pallets, carton boxes and plastic received from MEDC parts imports are 100% reused or recycled: 

– GM collects engines and transmissions and other such parts from dealers for reusing and recycling usable parts.

–  Over 8,000 vehicle assemblies remanufactured in the last 3 years and with the aim to reach 10,000 more vehicle assemblies by 2025.

–  85% reuse or recycling of current vehicles at the end of their life to foster a circular economy where resources and materials are used continually.

 – 100% reuse or recycling of returned EV batteries at the end-of-life for backup power, enabled by robust programs and strategic partnerships.

GM Egypt

– 5.8% reduction in energy consumption and 2.7% improvement in water consumption per unit in 2021 compared to 2020

– Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Star Award in 2020 for its efforts to lower GHG emissions by reducing its energy intensity by 10.8% in three years 

– GM Egypt plant has been a landfill-free site since 2016 and the facility has been made more sustainable through waste recycling and reusage initiatives, as well as the introduction of energy-saving technologies and solar heating and lighting, alongside the expansion of green spaces 

GM’s all-electric future

– GM Middle East will launch 13 all-new EVs by 2025, building one of the best and broadest EV line-up in the region, spearheaded by the Chevrolet Bolt EUV, GMC HUMMER EV and Cadillac LYRIQ.

– GM is striving to achieve zero tailpipe emissions to deliver a more sustainable and equitable future for all.

In early 2021, GM announced that it plans to become carbon neutral in its global products and operations by 2040 and is working toward a transition to 100% zero tailpipe emissions for new light-duty vehicles by 2035. 

Globally, GM also signed the Business Ambition Pledge for 1.5°C, an urgent call to action from a global coalition of UN agencies and business and industry leaders to urge limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C above preindustrial levels and reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

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