Feb 3, 2021

Sustainability: General Motors to be carbon neutral by 2040

Georgia Wilson
2 min
General Motors EVs
Automotive manufacturer - General Motors - announces bold ambitions to become carbon neutral in its global products and operations by 2040...

General Motors (GM) - one of the US’s largest automotive manufacturers - has announced its bold ambitions to become carbon neutral in its global products and operations by 2040. 

Not only has GM committed to setting science science-based targets, it has also signed the Business Ambition Pledge for 1.5⁰C.

“General Motors is joining governments and companies around the globe working to establish a safer, greener and better world. We encourage others to follow suit and make a significant impact on our industry and on the economy as a whole,” commented Mary Barra, GM Chairman and CEO.

Did you know? GM is the 10th largest offtaker of renewable energy in the world.

GM and the Environmental Defence Fund: a shared vision of an all-electric future

In addition to its carbon neutral goals, GM has been working with the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) to develop a shared vision of an all-electric future, as well as an aspiration to eliminate tailpipe emissions from light-duty vehicles by 2035.

GM will be working with multiple stakeholders - including the EDF - to build the required charging infrastructure, as well as promote consumer acceptance. 

“With this extraordinary step forward, GM is making it crystal clear that taking action to eliminate pollution from all new light-duty vehicles by 2035 is an essential element of any automaker’s business plan," said Fred Krupp, President, Environmental Defense Fund. 

GM science-based targets breakdown

In order to achieve its goals of becoming carbon neutral in its global products and operations by 2040, GM plans to decarbonise its portfolio by transitioning to battery electric vehicles or other zero emissions vehicle technology, sourcing renewable energy and leverage minimal offsets or credits.

  • Electrification - GM products account for 75% of its carbon emissions for this commitment. The automotive manufacturer will offer 30 all-electric models globally by mid-decade, with 40% of its U.S. models offered being battery electric vehicles by the end of 2025. GM will also invest US$27bn into electric and autonomous vehicles in the next five years.
  • Renewable energy - addressing emissions from its own operations, GM plans to source 100% renewable energy to power its US sites by 2030, and globally by 2035.
  • Carbon offsets and credits - accounting for the expected remaining carbon emissions, GM will invest in carbon credits or offsets, which will be assessed in the coming years.

For more information on manufacturing topics - please take a look at the latest edition of Manufacturing Global.

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May 12, 2021

Gartner: Leaders Lack Skilled Smart Manufacturing Workers

2 min
57% of manufacturing leaders feel that their organisations lack the skilled workers needed to support smart manufacturing digitalisation

With organisations rapidly adopting industry 4.0 capabilities to increase productivity, efficiency, transparency, and quality as well as reduce cost, manufacturers “are under pressure to bring their workforce into the 21st century,” says Gartner.

While more connected factory workers are leveraging digital tools and data management techniques to improve decision accuracy, increase knowledge and lessen variability, 57% of manufacturing leaders feel that their organisations lack the skilled workers needed to support their smart manufacturing digitalisation plans.

“Our survey revealed that manufacturers are currently going through a difficult phase in their digitisation journey toward smart manufacturing,” said Simon Jacobson, Vice President analyst, Gartner Supply Chain practice.

“They accept that changing from a break-fix mentality and culture to a data-driven workforce is a must. However, intuition, efficiency and engagement cannot be sacrificed. New workers might be tech-savvy but lack access to best practices and know-how — and tenured workers might have the knowledge, but not the digital skills. A truly connected factory worker in a smart manufacturing environment needs both.”

Change Management

Surveying 439 respondents from North America, Western Europe and APAC, Gartner found that “organisational complexity, integration and process reengineering are the most prevalent challenges for executing smart manufacturing initiatives.” Combined they represent “the largest change management obstacle [for manufacturers],” adds Gartner.

“It’s interesting to see that leadership commitment is frequently cited as not being a challenge. Across all respondents, 83% agree that their leadership understands and accepts the need to invest in smart manufacturing. However, it does not reflect whether or not the majority of leaders understand the magnitude of change in front of them – regarding technology, as well as talent,” added Jacobson.

Technology and People

While the value and opportunities smart manufacturing can provide an organisation is being recognised, introducing technology alone isn’t enough. Gartner emphasises the importance of evolving factory workers alongside the technology, ensuring that they are on board in order for the change to be successful.

“The most immediate action is for organisations to realize that this is more than digitisation. It requires synchronising activities for capability building, capability enablement and empowering people. Taking a ‘how to improve a day in the life’ approach will increase engagement, continuous learning and ultimately foster a pull-based approach that will attract tenured workers. They are the best points of contact to identify the best starting points for automation and the required data and digital tools for better decision-making,” said Jacobson.

Long term, “it is important to establish a data-driven culture in manufacturing operations that is rooted in governance and training - without stifling employee creativity and ingenuity,” concluded Gartner.

Discover Gartner's Five Best Practices for Post COVID-19 Innovation' in manufacturing.

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