General Motors’ commitment to sustainability is shared by its facilities around the world. To celebrate this collective mission to protect the earth and serve communities, GM rallied employees to take action to support World Environment Day, a global movement organized by the United Nations. Sixty-two GM manufacturing and non-manufacturing facilities organized environmental outreach activities.
“GM’s efforts can have a significant impact on people and our planet,” said Scott. “Our teams mobilized and showed their creativity, whether it was hosting environmental contests, upcycling waste or planting mango trees.”
In a recent Esquire article, GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra stated, “Twenty years ago was the best time to plant a tree. What's the second-best time? Now.” Collectively, GM planted more than 3,054 trees during the World Environment Day initiative. These trees will provide ecological benefits in addition to helping absorb carbon dioxide that contributes to climate change.
The teams engaged employees as well as students from 42 schools. Their efforts helped improve the sustainability of GM sites and local community spaces and watersheds. Many activities inspired people to think “green” at home, too.
The resulting projects were as diverse as the regions where they took place. Check out these 15 highlights below:
More than 200 employees attended a World Environment Day town hall. The managing director of GM Egypt led a discussion about GM’s environmental commitments, the environmental challenges Egypt faces, and how employees can become environmentalists. The day ended with a quiz and five winners were rewarded with trees that will bear their names.
Twenty people from GM’s Changwon plant in Korea volunteered to clean up a nearby stream and street. Employees and plant leadership at GM’s Talegaon plant in India planted 100 mango trees on facility grounds. Employees from Hanoi Vietnam picked up trash from the Do Son Beach and donated 50 waste bins to help keep it clean.
Holden, a subsidiary of General Motors in Australia, engaged its corporate environmental volunteering group to assist The Friends of Westgate Park by planting and pruning trees, mulching, watering, and weeding, improving the habitat.
A team of six from Vauxhall Motors in England visited Dell Farm Education Centre, a residential center for students that is also home to horses, chickens, rabbits and donkeys. The team weeded, laid wood chips, and preserved woods to provide habitats for insects and birds.
GM’s Opel manufacturing plant in Gliwice, Poland encouraged employees to reuse wood and plastic to make new products. Employees designed bird feeders from the scrap, which were then hung on the trees surrounding the facility. The group also made a flower pot with an inscription in remembrance of World Environment Day.
Kindergarteners visited the Tychy, Poland facility to plant a garden with strawberries, currants, blueberries, herbs and flowers.
Employees at the Zaragoza, Spain assembly plant provided environmental education to Huesca University students, employees and suppliers.
Many GM’s Components Holding facilities in the U.S. hosted electronic recycling collections.
Oshawa Assembly Plant in Canada worked with students to educate them on stormwater management.
More than 1,000 employees at Toluca Engine in Mexico planted 2,250 trees in Toluca City.
Forty-five plant workers at GM Venezuela developed a “mobilizing green” action plan. They set up stations throughout the plant to demonstrate how each department contributes to environmental goals. The facility sent daily “Think Green” newsletters for a week on topics from recycling to preserving natural resources.
In Ecuador, students visited the facility for environmental presentations.
Students toured the Joinville, Brazil plant to learn about industrial environmental efforts.