GHG Emissions, Sourcing Renewables - September 30, 2021
General Motors Launches Real-time Carbon Tracking to Monitor and Reduce Emissions
General Motors (GM) announced Sept. 30 a collaboration to track real-time carbon emissions at their facilities associated with electricity use, which will allow the company to make strategic decisions about its energy consumption based on the carbon output of the grid at a given time.
GM is working in partnership with PJM and TimberRock, a technology-enabled energy company, on this initiative, which will also allow GM to make informed decisions to switch to stored renewable energy or reduce the amount of power being consumed in cases where the power being supplied consists mostly of fossil fuels.
This is getting us to the next level, giving us the data to reach our company goal to be carbon neutral,” said Rob Threlkeld, GM’s Global Manager – Sustainable Energy, Supply & Reliability, in an exclusive interview with Smart Energy Decisions. “In order to do that, you’ve got to understand what your footprint is.”
The program is beginning with the company’s manufacturing footprint at their Ohio sites in PJM. Moving forward, GM plans to expand this initiative to other manufacturing locations and eventually to include the carbon emissions associated with customers’ electric vehicles, which will inform decisions on renewable investments to achieve the greatest impact beyond its own operations.
The ultimate goal, said Threlkeld, is driving a decarbonized grid. “It’s about understanding what that carbon component is so we can start to make decisions down the road about technology and software solutions to drive that carbon further out so that we're ultimately decarbonizing the grid.
GM also announced it will reach its goal to source 100% renewable energy to power its U.S. sites by 2025 – five years earlier than previously announced and 25 years earlier than the initial target set in 2016. With this accelerated target, GM expects to avoid 1million metric tons of carbon emissions that would have been produced between 2025 and 2030.
“We know climate action is a priority and every company must push itself to decarbonize further and faster,” said GM Chief Sustainability Officer Kristen Siemen. “That’s what we are doing by aiming to achieve 100 percent renewable energy five years earlier in the U.S. as we continue to advance on our commitment to lead an all-electric, carbon-neutral future.”
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