The projects, all in their initial stages, are expected to eventually comprise 4.6 million metric tons.
Chevrolet set its carbon-reduction goal based on the estimated emissions in 2011 from driving the 1.9 million vehicles it is expected to sell in the United States between Nov. 18, 2010 and Dec. 31, 2011.
“Reducing carbon dioxide emissions is one of mankind’s greatest responsibilities,” said Dr. Michio Kaku, theoretical physicist, futurist, and presenter of the Carbon Stories web video series. “Creative carbon stories – like turning harmful emissions into energy – are everywhere.”
Chevrolet has contracts to help support programs that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the coming years through energy savings, renewable energy and conservation. Examples include:
Metrolina Greenhouse in Huntersville, N.C.: Replacing natural gas with renewable biomass – mostly waste wood – to heat greenhouses that grow gardening plants.
Crow Lake Wind Farm in Mitchell, S.D.: A 108-turbine wind farm, including seven community-owned wind turbines, that provides rural farmers and residents with locally generated power and financial returns. One is owned by Mitchell Technical Institute and is used to provide vocational training for students.
Waste heat recovery at gas pipeline pumping stations in Culbertson, Mont. and Garvin, Minn.: Capturing the heat that would otherwise be vented from natural gas pumping station motors and recovering it to generate electricity, which is fed back into the grid.
Actual carbon reductions from these projects will take place over the next five years. Each project must be reviewed, validated and verified before the investment is completed.
Beyond Chevrolet’s carbon-reduction goal, it is partnering with the National Forest Foundation and the San Juan National Forest in Colorado to replant trees in a portion of the forest severely damaged by a fire.
Videos describing the above projects will be released on www.chevycarbonreduction.com every two weeks during the next two months. Chevrolet also will launch an application enabling consumers to showcase their eco-consciousness by planting virtual trees on their Facebook walls. For each one, Chevrolet, in partnership with the National Forest Foundation, will plant a real tree in a U.S. forest next year – up to 175,000 trees.
“Now that we’re committed to 16 diversified projects, we are fortified in our support of community-based, carbon-reduction initiatives,” said Chris Perry, vice president of Chevrolet Global Marketing and Strategy. “It’s fulfilling to back organizations working toward building a cleaner, more-secure energy future.”
General Motors is also developing more fuel-efficient vehicles that fit customers’ lifestyles and is striving to increase energy efficiency and use alternative energy resources throughout its operations. This initiative extends these efforts.
“Chevrolet has shown tremendous courage to take on a carbon reduction commitment in a difficult political and economic environment,” said Mark Kenber, CEO of The Climate Group. “The company’s integrated approach – looking at process, product and consumer emissions – is absolutely the right way to ensure that efforts to combat climate change are not only aligned with but also support long-term growth.”
Chevrolet is engaged with environmental experts, non-government organizations and academics through the Climate Neutral Business Network to guide and inform its investment parameters. Chevrolet is working with the nonprofit Bonneville Environmental Foundation to find and support the projects.
Earlier this year, Chevrolet signed a contract to partner with Maine State Housing Authority of up to 5,500 low-income homes in Maine.