Implementation of Science-Based Emission Targets in the General Motors Zero Waste Program

At General Motors (GM), our vision is to create a world with zero crashes, zero emission, and zero congestion. Under the “Zero Emissions” pillar, GM established multiple public sustainability goals, targeting a reduction in scope 1, 2, and 3 greenhouse gas emissions, with an overarching goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2040. One of the publicly announced goals is the GM Zero Waste program, which aims to divert greater than 90% of total operational waste from landfills, incinerators, and energy recovery facilities by 2025.

GM’s current Zero Waste program allocates targets and tracks performance strictly on a mass basis. The in-development future state of the program, after completion of the 90% mass-based target, will include life cycle assessment (LCA) technologies that allow for the addition of GHG emission tracking criteria as they relate to the waste handling and disposal. The purpose of this project is to research and review current technologies, methodologies, and assessment criteria to assist with this transition.