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General Motor's Sustainability Strategies


Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. That's just smart resource management. General Motors has embraced environmental responsibility across its portfolio of 396 facilities across six continents in a variety of ways, and resource management is a key component of their strategy. To date, for example, they have 83 manufacturing sites and 28 non-manufacturing sites, including their headquarters, which have achieved landfill-free status. This means that less than one percent of the waste generated at the site goes to a landfill.

At construction sites, displaced soil is reused on site rather than being trucked off. At one site, the soil was used to create a naturalized walking path with a paved walkway, with little hills that have been planted with trees and grass. "In the past, all that would have been put in dump trucks and hauled off site," says Mari Kay Scott, General Motors' executive director of global facilities.

Another way that GM is smart about resource management is in the interiors of its facilities. When office areas, such as the six-facility headquarters at the Renaissance Center in Detroit, get new office furniture, there is a person on Scott's team tasked with furniture reuse. The furniture might be used, but it still has a lot of miles left of it, so it's transferred to the manufacturing facilities, for use in their offices to upgrade those spaces. "You have two happy customers, you've reused something instead of buying new in both places and you can really make a big impact on the company," Scott says.

Read more about Mari Kay Scott's facility management strategies in the September 2014 cover story in Building Operating Management.

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