GM has increased the wildlife habitats it manages to nearly 2,500 acres
GM has recently increased its worldwide holdings of wildlife habitats with the certification of four new properties – three in the U.S. and one in Brazil. The addition of these habitats to those already managed by the automaker brings the total to nearly 2,500 acres over 25 different sites.
These sites were certified by the Wildlife Habitat Council, “a nonprofit, non-lobbying group of corporations, conservation organizations and individuals dedicated to restoring and enhancing wildlife habitat, protecting biodiversity and educating communities.” according to its website.
GM has more sites with this certification than any other automaker and plans to continue with these efforts. According to the corporate website, “GM is committed to increasing native biodiversity at its facilities and certifying each of its manufacturing sites where feasible by 2020.”
The three new U.S. sites have been recognized with “Wildlife at Work” certifications:
- The Bowling Green Assembly Plant, in Kentucky, now has 75 acres of habitat, including 1.5 miles of walking trails. There is a new picnic area built on a foundation constructed with 42,000 pounds of recycled material from the plant. Wildlife experts helped determine what plants are grown on the site, and local eighth graders and Boy Scouts have beautified the area by planting sunflowers and building blue bird boxes.
- Projects managed by the Desert Proving Ground site in Yuma, Arizona, contributed to the creation of the “Sonoran Pollinator Habitat Enhancement” program. One of these projects is the relocation of saguaro cacti to provide food for pollinators and shelter for birds. Another component of the program is the removal of invasive and harmful species. Strategic placement of water barrels encourages Africanized bees to move to safer areas, and salt cedars trees are removed to conserve valuable groundwater needed by native plants, while the brush from the trees creates habitat for small mammals.
- The Drayton Warehouse, in Michigan, has transformed an unused parking lot and adjacent area into a 35-acre habitat with rolling hills and a stormwater retention pond. The area now helps feed and sustain the local deer and bird populations and aims to increase the diversity of local plant life.
The new international site, Mogi das Cruzes, in Brazil, comprises 4.3 hectares of land set aside for wildlife protection and employee education. GM has earned a “Corporate Lands for Learning” certification for this site, which works to educate employees about helping the environment. As part of this program, “The team organizes an environmental week where employees have the opportunity to partake in outdoor activities and lectures on preserving nature, reusing materials and saving water and energy,” according to the GM website.
In addition to these four new sites, five others have achieved recertification, highlighting GM’s commitment to the ongoing process of managing the wildlife habitats that benefit both the environment and the company. “Our natural resources have business value and we work to protect them,” said Mike Robinson, GM vice president of sustainability and global regulatory affairs. “These wildlife habitats also enable employees to take part in conservation efforts and help us strengthen our community ties.”
These achievements make GM a leader among automakers as the company works to better the environment and local communities.