General Motors Drives Sustainability Across Supply Chain

2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV RST pulling into a GM Energy charging station (Credit: GM)
GM's supply chain sustainability efforts span logistics, packaging and supplier engagement- targeting ambitious emissions reductions and ethical standards

General Motors (GM) is accelerating sustainability efforts in its supply chain, focusing on logistics, materials, packaging, and supplier engagement. 

The cross-functional GPSC Sustainability Team is dedicated to building strong supplier relationships, pushing for emission reductions with clear goals and timelines.

Sustainable supplier pledge

A core element of this initiative is encouraging Tier I suppliers to sign GM’s Supplier Pledge.

This pledge commits suppliers to achieving carbon neutrality for Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions related to products or services provided to GM, and to attaining an EcoVadis score of at least 50 by 2025 in the areas of Labour and Human Rights, Ethics and Sustainable Procurement.

By the end of 2023, 71% of GM’s direct and logistics suppliers had committed to the pledge.


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Understanding GM's sustainability framework

GM introduced the Supplier Sustainability Goals Framework to enhance sustainability within its Tier I suppliers, including key indirect and logistic suppliers. 

This framework is central to GM's strategy, encouraging suppliers to make progressive steps towards sustainability. This outlines GM's supply chain goals, priorities and processes for its Tier I suppliers. 

The framework categorises supplier engagement into four levels:

  • Compliance
  • Commitment
  • Growth
  • Leadership.

This structured approach aims to drive increased sustainability engagement across the supply chain.

“Sustainability is not just good policy. It’s good business- good for the company, for employees, and for recruiting and retaining the best people, people who will help us achieve our vision,” says GM Chair and CEO, Mary Barra.

Mary Barra, Chair & CEO, GM

Assessing supply performance and risk 

GM uses the EcoVadis platform to evaluate suppliers' management systems in relation to the environment, labour and human rights, ethics, and sustainable procurement. 

By the end of 2023, 88% of GM’s direct and logistics suppliers, measured by budgeted annual purchase value, had enrolled in EcoVadis — achieving an average score of 52 out of 100.

Since 2013, GM has participated in the CDP Supply Chain Initiative, collaborating with suppliers to mitigate environmental impacts.

In 2023, suppliers representing 92% of GM's budgeted annual purchase value participated in CDP, with over 95% response rates among in-scope SSE and key logistic suppliers for the Climate Change survey.

Sustainable logistics

GM leverages its logistics operations to enhance supply chain sustainability. 

The company has been a member of the EPA’s SmartWay Partnership since 2013 and, in 2023, it encouraged eligible logistics suppliers to join, resulting in increased participation. 

Carriers representing 97% of GM’s 2022 truck, rail, and intermodal ton-miles committed to the SmartWay programme.

GM’s Logistics Team strategically designs routes, changes modes, and adjusts frequencies whilst integrating carbon calculation methodologies to improve CO2 emissions visibility.

The company also uses advanced technology to integrate risk management into its supply chain visibility tool, mapping geographic locations and relationships across their global supply chain.

This tool monitors supply chain disruptions, potential human rights issues and sustainability-related events.

Through this process, GM can proactively identify suppliers potentially involved in human rights events and work to mitigate these risks.

Commitment to a sustainable future

"At GM, we are taking important steps toward supporting the transition to a more sustainable, zero-emissions future for everyone," says Kristen Siemen, GM Chief Sustainability Officer.

Kristen Siemen, Chief Sustainability Officer, GM

"We continue to make progress integrating sustainability into our business from the initial design and selection of materials, through product development and manufacturing, to innovative solutions for end of life.

"While there’s more work to do, we are proud of our progress and are moving with purpose." 

General Motors’ 2023 sustainability report highlights its commitment to sustainable practices across the business.

The report details GM's efforts to accelerate electric vehicle adoption, forge strategic partnerships to enhance supply chain sustainability and support the development of a future-ready grid powered by renewable energy.

GM remains steadfast in its pursuit of sustainability, recognising the importance of sustainable practices not just for the environment, but as a cornerstone of good business and ethical responsibility.

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