If one person’s trash is another person’s treasure, could that saying hold true for owls, wood ducks, and bats? We at General Motors think so.
In 2010, GM started converting scrap Chevy Volt battery covers into nesting boxes for wildlife in an effort to give wood ducks and bats a place to call home. Since its inception, the project has spurred about 450 new structures around our U.S. and Canadian facilities, and the number continues to increase. It’s one of the more unique ways our company tackles waste reduction.
GM has gained much expertise when it comes to reducing waste and recycling and reusing materials. We recycle 90 percent of the waste at our worldwide manufacturing facilities, and of that group, 106 are completely landfill-free. Finding a better space for waste has been a company focus for nearly two decades, which has in turn given us vision to see things differently. Our people are essentially trained to reimagine waste, viewing it as simply a resource out of place.
Turning battery covers into nests is just one example of the type of sustainability project we seek out. These nesting boxes not only help us reduce environmental impact, they enhance our habitats and engage our communities, as well.
We oftentimes work alongside students, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, and other community-based youth organizations to help us put the finishing touches on these projects. It gives GM environmental engineers a reason to spread the word about recycling and helps instill a deeper understanding and appreciation for nature among our next generation of leaders.
You’ll find these nesting boxes peppered throughout our 2,600 acres of dedicated habitats surrounding our facilities and among our 25 Wildlife Habitat Council certified programs. We’ve also donated them to other organizations, schools and municipalities, further spreading the word of how environmental awareness and action benefits all.
We commend the Wildlife Habitat Council’s certification programs and its efforts to raise awareness of the positive effects of habitat development and preservation. We stand by this cause. In fact, by 2020 we’re committed to securing certified wildlife programs at each of our global manufacturing sites where it’s feasible.