GM strengthens commitment to responsible water use

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Automaker giant General Motors (GM) has provided examples of water-friendly manufacturing processes in the company's factories, and recently asserted its commitment to responsible water use.

GM promised to aim to reduce water use by 35 percent by year 2035, and has signed the CEO Water Mandate with other business leaders.

GM said that reducing water use in its operations will save about 4,254 Olympic-sized swimming pools worth of water. It has signed the Water Mandate, a United Nations (UN) Global Compact Initiative that aims to address key challenges around water security.

The Mandate is also aligned to the UN Sustainable Development Goal (UN SDG).

“The CEO Water Mandate will help us accelerate our water stewardship goals and contribute to the UN SDGs,” said General Motors Chief Sustainability Officer Kristen Siemen.

“As we continue to drive efficiencies in our own manufacturing, we will also work with other endorsing companies to establish, implement and advocate for water stewardship practices that promote corporate water management that benefit people, our communities, and our environment," Siemen added.

GM will map its water progress and achievements against the Mandate’s six core commitment areas: Direct Operations; Supply Chain and Watershed Management; Collective Action; Public Policy; Community Engagement; and Transparency.

GM said that even though its operations are not highly reliant on water, the element is needed for some manufacturing processes. Below are the said water-friendly practices seen in a number of GM plants.

In the San Luis Potosí Assembly plant in Mexico, the Zero Liquid system is being used. GM said the system minimizes the reliance on well water withdrawal, purifying and transforming wastewater into reusable water for the facility’s paint and machining processes, as well as irrigation.

In the Factory Zero plant in Detroit, United States of America, there is the Stormwater Reuse.


Here, the company built a system to reuse storm water in its cooling towers and manufacturing processes, and installed additional storm water ponds and filtration equipment to limit storm water going to the Detroit River.

GM also regularly holds Water Treasure Hunts in which local plant employees are trained in identifying water efficiency opportunities and implementing solutions.

The company said it is committed to using water responsibly and efficiently, especially in "water-stressed regions."

In 2020, GM’s water stewardship and management practices were recognized by the CDP on its Water A-List. CDP is a nonprofit organization that sets the standard for investors, companies, cities, states and regions, to manage their impacts on the environment. 

GM, along with its subsidiaries and joint venture entities, sell vehicles under the Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac, Baojun, and Wuling brands.

Photos from General Motors

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