Accouting Research Paper on Sustainability at General Motors

General Motors is a world leader in the automotive industry. It has had numerous successes over time,ranging from bouncing back from a recession that threatened to wipe it down to venturing into uncharted territory, therefore setting the precedence for other automakers by being industry pioneers. Its recent public offering in 2010 alludes to the unprecedented growth that General Motors has gone through, and it provided the much needed funds for expansion and increased auto production.

However, with growth comes responsibilities. General Motors seems to understand this concept. The GM management came up with five key principles upon which the company is run. They emphasize on safety and quality at all times, creating long life customers, innovativeness especially in production, delivering long term value for investment and making a positive difference. These principles seem basic and lay, but as they say, the devil or in this case, the angel is always in the details (Robinson, 2012). A keen look at the company strategy especially in the principles on innovativeness, making a positive difference and to some extent, delivering long term investment value shows that the company keeps the environment close to its heart. As such, they have an environmental policy that they strictly adhere to. It is also worth noting that the company tows the line in as far as federal and state environmental policies are concerned. It is in this respect that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has on several occasions acknowledged the efforts made by general Motors to care for the environment (Robinson, 2012).

General Motors is committed to environmental protection. In its commitment statement, the company promises to act responsibly all over the world with efforts specifically geared towards the crucial areas of education and the environment (Crowley, 2012). Through the General Motors Foundation, the company strengthens communities all over the United States by investing in education, community development, human and health services, energy and especially environment. In its own words, GM is committed to continuous improvement in the reduction of the negative environmental impacts of their products and industries (Crowley, 2012).

GM seeks to promote environmental protection primarily though merging their sustainability and business models. The business model adopted by General Motors builds up a self sustaining reinvestment cycle that drives improvements in manufacturing discipline, automotive improvement, improving brands, and pricing and margins thereby positioning the company for profits throughout the different business cycles. Aligning the sustainability model with the business model will promote integration between the two and support a similar sustainable reinvestment cycle (Riley, 2012). This will be done through change in design leading to improved research and advancement of existing technologies to help reduce if not wipe out petroleum dependency, reduce emissions and improve fuel economy. General Motors is also currently optimizing the benefits of operating its facilities in a socially friendly and environmental manner. A different twist to this would be creating options for sustainability oriented customer to have a choice in cars and products. By creating cars that emit less and are sustainable, GM will not only create a new market base for green cars but will boost margins (Kerry, 2012).

Some of these projections have been achieved by the company. GM is currently building fuel efficient automobiles that meet the needs of customers without harming the environment. GM already has 12 vehicles that operate on at least 30mpg highway. It is currently rated the best producer of flex fuel vehicle models, which consume less fuel and emit less fumes to the atmosphere (Robinson, 2012). There has been increased investment in advanced bio fuel developers, and they will soon develop a fully functional vehicle run solely on bio fuel. Before this is however realized, GM has already produced cars that run on a combination of B20 biodiesel, liquefied petroleum gas and compressed natural gas (Robinson, 2012).

The complex mix of these different types of fuel in specific ratios has enabled GM come up with a formula that has cut emissions by half and lowered consumption by a nearly similar margin (Riley, 2012). Just to demonstrate that GM will stop at nothing to ensure sustainability is achieved, fuel cell development is currently underway. Several tests on newly manufactured fuel cell cars are being carried out in GM factories before subsequent mass production is approved and implemented. These fuel cell cars will run solely on in built rechargeable cells that have little implications on the environment (Riley, 2012).

GM hybrid vehicles, some of which are fitted with e assistant electrification technology, are already in the market. The reviews given by customers, auto dealers, environmentalists and engineers alike attest that these automobiles are not only as good as petroleum run cars, but they also protect the environment (Crowley, 2012). GM now has a wide variety of electric cars such as Opel Ampera and Chevrolet Volt, leaving customers spoilt for choice. GMs waste products such as paint sludge, shipping material and scrap metal are mostly recycled in accordance to its landfill-free policy in almost all its manufacturing plants. The goal to reduce waste products generated through daily manufacturing operations is being realized with over 96% of waste reused and recycled, with the rest used in energy production (Crowley, 2012).

This has led GM to be recognized for its efforts to promote sustainability. It led all Michigan organizations in Environmental Partner awards, gunning another six acknowledgements of effective community environmental partnerships and projects from the Department of Environmental Quality in Michigan (Kerry, 2012). It was also named Green Corporate Citizen due to is efforts to reduce environmental footprints during the annual Corporate Waste and Recycling Conference.

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