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GM signs Climate Declaration, saying action on climate change is good business

General Motors is the first automaker to sign on with the Climate Declaration campaign organized by the Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy.

General Motors became the first automaker to, on Wednesday, sign on with the Climate Declaration. This campaign is organized by sustainable business advocacy group Ceres and its Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy, or BICEP, coalition,

Companies signing the Climate Declaration are collectively calling for policymakers to address climate change by promoting clean energy, boosting efficiency and limiting carbon emissions. General Motors already follows these policies in its own business conduct, whether it's operating no-landfill manufacturing, getting power from landfill gas or solar panels, or manufacturing a growing number of electrified vehicles.

According to Gallup and Yale University polls, a majority of Americans believe climate change is happening. Further, the polls showed that corporations, as well as government officials, should be doing more to address the issue.

The company claims that signing the Climate Declaration is aligned with GM's environmental goals. In March, GM CEO Dan Akerson called on President Obama to appoint a Blue Ribbon Commission to develop a 30-year policy framework for energy security. The American Carbon Registry’s Corporate Excellence Award recognized GM for demonstrated commitment to reducing its carbon footprint and mitigating climate impact. The company is an EPA ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year Award for Sustained Excellence.

Worldwide, GM is working toward a goal of reducing energy intensity from its facilities 20 percent by 2020. The company has 54 facilities that meet the voluntary ENERGY STAR® Challenge for Industry, in which facilities work to reduce energy intensity by 10 percent within five years. The company also is the No. 1 automotive user of solar power in the United States and hosts two of the five largest rooftop solar arrays in the world, and also has landfill gas facilities. GM's goal is to have 125 megawatts of renewable energy by 2020.

GM has cut energy intensity by 26 percent within just two to three years. This isn't just for altruism, but it serves the bottom line by saving the company $90 million in energy costs.

“We want to be a change agent in the auto industry,” said Mike Robinson, GM vice president of Sustainability and Global Regulatory Affairs. “As our world faces issues like congestion and climate change, we are at the forefront in transforming the way we move, from building more efficient vehicles to partnering with car-sharing startup Relay Rides.”