Spotlight On: GM – Everybody In

Energy Supply

Think cars, and you think GM. But for anyone paying attention, the largest automaker in the U.S. has been trailblazing the path to a sustainable, inclusive, and all-electric future.

Headquartered in Detroit, Michigan, and serving six continents, GM is now the 14th largest offtaker of renewable power purchase agreements (BNEF PPA Deal Tracker) – and the largest in the automotive industry. They have sourced enough renewable energy to power its U.S. sites with 100% renewable electricity by 2025 and are well on its way to meeting its global goal of 2035.

Aligning with Science Based Targets for scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions, the automaker has plans to become carbon neutral in global products and operations by 2040 by transforming its portfolio and converting its factories.

The approach focuses on sourcing renewables through a variety of methods such as onsite projects, power purchase agreements, and green tariffs, while intermittency is addressed through energy storage. Energy efficiency is another pathway via investments in new technologies and efforts to conserve electricity in facilities, with GM spending approximately $20 million annually on energy efficiency and power demand projects.

A major driver of GM’s strategy has been addressing Scope 2 emissions through renewables investments, primarily via virtual power purchase agreements.

“Trio has been a fantastic collaborator on that journey,” said Monica Walker, Renewables and Energy Strategy Manager at GM.

The Road to Zero Emissions

With a goal to become carbon neutral by 2040, GM is focused on decarbonizing its supply chain, inviting Tier I suppliers to sign its Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Partnership Pledge, which asks suppliers to commit to carbon neutrality for their Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions relevant to products or services provided to GM.

In addition, GM is focused on bringing everybody in on the transition to zero emissions, with a variety of EV and charging initiatives to fit every lifestyle.

“There’s a recognition that as we transition to an all-electric future, our solutions have to account for inequities,” Walker said.

“We want the transition to this all-electric, carbon neutral future to be inclusive. EVs are coming, and a key part of that transition is a fully decarbonized electricity grid. We really value our collaboration with Trio as they’re playing a critical role in helping us figure out how to get there.” - Monica Walker, Renewables and Energy Strategy Manager, GM

Offsite Power Purchase Agreements

With a commitment to 100% renewable energy by 2050, GM sought the guidance of Trio to help them navigate the power market and support its renewable energy sourcing efforts.

Trio assisted the GM team in project selection, due diligence and risk assessments, economic forecasting, contract negotiations, and ongoing project settlement support.

Partnership Highlights

  • Achieved 100% renewable energy goal by 2025.
  • Power purchase agreements totaling +540MW in the US and Mexico.
  • Working relationship spanning +12 years supporting energy management and procurement across traditional power, natural gas, and renewables.
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