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GM going green

General motors plans to use renewable energy at manufacturing facilities.

General Motors said April 20 that it is looking at ways to reduce energy and water use, by turning to renewable energy at its manufacturing plants. The company also said it plans to make half of its 160 manufacturing operations landfill-free by the end of 2010.

"While GM is in the process of reinventing the automobile and the company, we're also redefining environmental sustainability in our factories," said Elizabeth Lowery, GM vice president for Environment, Energy and Safety Policy. "We know that when it comes to environmental impact, the end vehicle is only part of the equation and that taking steps to "green" our manufacturing processes are critical as well."

Going green also helps the company's bottom line; recycling efforts at GM's plants include metal scrap sales of more than $1 billion in 2008. GM also recycled 17,000 tons of wood, 20,000 tons of cardboard, and 4,000 tons of plastics in 2008.

GM currently harnesses the sun. It's plant in Zaragoza, Spain, has the world's largest rooftop solar photovoltaic power installation. It covers about 2 million square feet of roof at the plant with about 85,000 solar panels. The company has two of the largest solar power installations in the United States--in Rancho Cucamonga and Fontana, California.

(Source: General Motors)