When you envision an assembly plant for the iconic Chevrolet Corvette, you probably don't picture screech owls and bats, nor would you expect to find whitetail deer, painted turtles and foxes at our Customer Care and Aftersales facility. Such creatures, however, call GM facilities around the world home, thanks to a longstanding commitment to habitat preservation.
Increasing native biodiversity — where the potential exists — is a component of our facilities' environmental stewardship plan. At the end of 2011, we had 21 programs around the world certified by the Wildlife Habitat Council, which recognizes outstanding habitat management and environmental education efforts at corporate sites. Another four sites are currently in the certification process, including our Corvette assembly plant in Bowling Green, Kentucky. According to the Wildlife Habitat Council, GM has more certified habitats than any other manufacturer in North America.
At our Corvette assembly plant in Bowling Green, Kentucky, plant employees joined community members to create the property's 75-acre wildlife habitat. The habitat features a 1.5-mile walking trail and a picnic area where thousands of pounds of recycled shredded organic mats from the plant provide soft and consistent ground cover. Recycled Chevrolet Volt battery covers create nesting boxes for the property's screech owls and bats.
The habitat not only supports wildlife, but also local educational efforts. Eighth graders at a nearby middle school planted sunflowers, and Boy Scouts built and installed boxes for bluebird nests.
"Our vision for the habitat is much more than just letting our employees walk through here on break time or bring their families out," plant manager Dave Tatman explains. "This is really our gift to the community as well."
To further improve wildlife habitats and build upon this record, we will work toward achieving Wildlife Habitat Certification, or its equivalent, at each GM manufacturing facility where feasible by 2020.
"We find General Motors' environmental leadership commendable and hope other companies follow their lead. WHC congratulates GM for its commitment and contributions to wildlife habitat enhancement, community outreach and conservation education."
President, Wildlife Habitat Council