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Waste Not
GM Donation Insulates 400 More Coats for the Homeless

General Motors has made an additional donation of scrap sound-absorption material from its Chevy Malibu and Buick Verano models to a Detroit nonprofit for use as insulation in waterproof, self-heating coats that become sleeping bags for the homeless.

GM reports on its blog that this second donation of 2,000 yards of the insulating material (the first being last fall, according to CNN) will keep the material out of landfills and will help insulate about 400 coats, as well as help the company toward its goal of achieving zero waste. The company has also used the highly absorbent material, called sonozorbTM, for cleanup in its manufacturing facilities and the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The Detroit-based Empowerment Plan, founded by 23-year-old Veronika Scott, employs homeless women to make the convertible coats-to-sleeping-bags and distributes them in states including Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, New York and Oregon.

“GM’s continued support directly impacts our ability to produce at the rate we’ve been going,” said Scott.

Last month, GM announced it has achieved 106 landfill-free facilities worldwide, with a goal of 125 by 2020. In addition to the company’s waste and recycling efforts, the company also announced in March a goal of saving as much as 12 billion gallons of fuel over the life of its cars built between 2011 and 2017 by reducing vehicle weight by up to 15 percent.