Automaker GM Pledges to Become a Carbon Neutral Business by 2040

By James White Tuesday, February 2, 2021

One of the world’s leading companies in the automotive industry, General Motors (GM), recently announced its commitment to combating global climate change. Planning to become a carbon-neutral company by 2040, GM seeks to eliminate tailpipe emissions from its “new light-duty vehicles.”

Detroit skyline showing the GM world headquarters.

"General Motors is joining governments and companies around the globe working to establish a safer, greener and better world," said Mary Barra, GM chairman and CEO. "We encourage others to follow suit and make a significant impact on our industry and on the economy as a whole."

The announcement comes in the wake of several other massive businesses and companies joining the fight to protect the long-term health of our environment. Ecommerce giant Amazon committed to carbon-neutral business operations by 2040 in 2019. Big tech leaders also followed suit, with Microsoft ambitiously pledging to become carbon negative by 2030. Even massive beverage industry businesses joined the cause. PepsiCo plans to run its US business operations entirely on renewable energy sources.

The Auto Manufacturing Business Goes Green

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the transportation sector is the leading source of greenhouse gas emissions in the US, comprising about 28% of all emissions in 2018. GM plans to reduce the impact of its company in the industry through a number of strategies.

The automotive manufacturing leader worked with the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), a nonprofit organization dedicated to solving environmental challenges across the globe, to develop the company’s plan to reduce its impact.

GM plans to release 30 new fully electric vehicles (EVs) by 2025, with 40% being available in the US. Investments will also be made toward improving battery technology and EV factory infrastructure across multiple locations. Furthermore, GM claims that the company will power all of its US locations with 100% renewable energy sources by 2025, as well as all of its global sites by 2035.

GM also stated that it would be working with EVgo, a business working on expanding EV charging network infrastructure in order to assist with the adoption of electric vehicles.

Investing in the Future

In 2018, Reuters reported that global automakers have invested over $90 billion in EV and battery technology. The EV industry, while only comprising a very small portion of automobile sales, has seen massive investments and growth in recent years, due in part to an increasing sense of environmental awareness. EV manufacturer Tesla poses an immense market cap of $752.19 billion, even larger than GM’s cap of $72.54 billion despite having only been founded in 2003.

Summary

GM announced its plan to become a carbon-neutral business by 2040, joining other massive companies, including Microsoft, Amazon, and PepsiCo. The auto manufacturer plans to release 30 new electric vehicles by 2025, joining the race to invest in battery and EV technology. Tesla remains a top competitor in the growing EV industry.

About the Author


Headshot for author James White

James White is a Michigan State University graduate with a B.S. in Environmental Biology. He is interested in reporting emerging trends in technology, especially with regard to alternative energy and environmental conservation.

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