GM looks beyond the vehicle to cut emissions
Non-profit organizations partner with carmaker
DETROIT: Chevrolet has launched a $40-million project to finance clean energy projects across the US.
The carmaker plans to reduce 8 million tons of carbon over the next few years through the initiative, which will fund a range of community-based projects such as wind farms, school retrofits, and gas capture at landfills.
Chevy has created a website where applicants can pitch their projects to be considered for funding. It also plans to spread the word through its more than 3,000 dealerships in the country.
The company will make investments through third-parties, such as Bonneville Environmental Foundation, a non-profit organization based in Portland, Ore. GM has engaged with other environmental experts, non-government organizations and academics through the Climate Neutral Business Network, to define project criteria and the program’s investment portfolio.
While the large US manufacturer may have more resources to spend on environmental projects, Canadian businesses can still adopt similar strategies.
Some already have, through initiatives like WWF Canada’s Climate Savers Program that connects companies with non-profit organizations to help them reduce emissions within their operations and beyond.
“Although, for smaller and medium sized businesses the idea of working with a not for profit may seem like it is too resource intensive, there are often opportunities to collaborate that can help organizations save time and money,” said Monica Da Ponte, director of strategic partnerships with WWF Canada.
Da Ponte said smaller businesses that do take action can expect a competitive advantage as large industry looks to cut its own environmental footprint by examining the practices of its suppliers.
She said the key is to use the work larger organizations have already developed.
“This enables small and medium sized organizations to learn from the success of others, skip some of the challenges and leverage existing tools,” Da Ponte said.