GM Starts Big Push to Green Its Chinese Operations

GM Starts Big Push to Green Its Chinese Operations

As part of a wide-ranging effort to drive sustainable growth in China, General Motors will fund a $250 million research center in Shanghai, and the automaker's Chinese division has launched a three-pronged strategy to address its environmental impacts.

As part of Shanghai General Motors' support for the Chinese auto industry's drive toward sustainable development, Shanghai GM this week inaugurated its Drive to Green strategy, which covers three areas of operations: developing green products, cultivating green manufacturing systems and embracinga larger green philsophy.

The overarching goal of the program is to create cars that perform better while using less fuel and emitting fewer greenhouse gases, while also taking in to account vehicles' entire lifecycles to reduce overall environmental impacts.

Among the green products in the works for the new strategy include the just-launched Buick LaCrosse Eco-Hybrid, the first hybrid in mainstream production in the country's upper-medium vehicle segment. The LaCrosse is estimated to get 10 percent more miles per gallon than the non-hybrid version. In addition to the LaCrosse hybrid, the company announced plans to unveil another, as-yet-unnamed hybrid vehicle this year, one that will get 50 percent higher fuel efficiency than a conventional model. Shanghai GM will also bring three new high-efficiency engines to market.

General Motors' U.S. operations, are no stranger to reducing waste, and Shanghai GM is also aiming to reduce its waste throughout its manufacuring process as part of the Drive to Green strategy. It aims to quickly increase the amount of materials recycled, which a goal of recycling 95 percent of all its materials and energy used in manufacturing by 2012, reduce coal consumption by 35 percent per car manufactured by 2012, and lower total water use and raise water reclamation significantly in the same time frame.

In addition to the Drive to Green strategy, General Motors announced two major research projects in China this week. First comes the development of the GM Center for Advanced Science and Research, a $250 million facility on the company's Shanghai campus. Furthermore, GM will collaborate with Beijing's Tsinghua University and the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. to create the China Automotive Energy Research Center. whose first project will bring together leaders from government, private industry and academia to create a vision for sustainable automotive energy in the fast-growing nation.