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Our Facilities

GM Canada continues to strive for more environmentally friendly facilities.

The Greening of our Facilities

GM Canada has implemented many initiatives in our facilities that have dramatically reduced energy consumption, waste production, and use of chemicals.

We have also taken steps to rehabilitate the lands surrounding our facilities to create havens for wildlife and places where people can go to appreciate nature’s beauty. Some of our sites already have the distinction of having surrounding habitats certified by the Wildlife Habitat Council.

Recent environmental accomplishments in our facilities include:

  • In 2013, all of GM’s Canadian plants met EPA ENERGY STAR ® Challenge .
  • In 2005, GM Canada invested in a state-of-the-art and fully abated paint shop and implemented low- and no- VOC paint technologies. As a result, VOC emissions have been reduced by over 80%
  • Since 2005, Oshawa Vehicle Assembly has recycled 94% of all waste generated from plant operations and reduced their energy consumption by 50%
  • Landfill-free status at the St. Catharines Powertrain since April 2008
  • In 2014, CAMI Vehicle Assembly achieved landfill-free status
  • More than 90% waste diversion at the Woodstock Parts Distribution Centre reached through ongoing efforts since 2005

Read more about our facilities

General Motors of Canada Headquarters

GM Canada Headquarters

The planning of General Motors of GM Canada’s corporate headquarters involved a study team of environmental consultants and engineers as well as assistance from several non-government environmental agencies. The result is a facility that:

  • Is restricted to a height of four stories with tinted glass and special lighting so as not to interfere with migratory birds and reduce the threat of nocturnal bird collisions.
  • Has an energy-efficient air conditioning system that allows utility costs to be reduced by shifting part of the electrical load to off-peak hours.
  • Uses conventional ice-making equipment to charge the thermal storage medium during night-time hours. The building is cooled during peak hours by circulating chilled liquid from the thermal storage medium.

McLaughlin Bay Wildlife Reserve

Located on the grounds of our headquarters, the McLaughlin Bay Wildlife Reserve was created to provide a place for wildlife to flourish in an urban setting and to establish a continuous corridor for wildlife and people along the Lake Ontario shoreline. It also provides a home and migratory staging area for a wide variety of plants and animals while ensuring public access to the waterfront for non-consumptive activities.

The McLaughlin Bay Wildlife Reserve demonstrates what can be accomplished when business, government and the public work together to protect precious habitats, wildlife and the environment.

Click here for more information about the Wildlife Habitat

Oshawa Vehicle Assembly

Oshawa vehicle assembly plant.

Oshawa Vehicle Assembly

Reducing the use and emissions of Volatile Organic Compounds ( VOC) commonly found in paint and solvents is a goal of General Motors. Oshawa Vehicle Assembly, a large flexible vehicle assembly plant, now uses low- VOC paints and utilizes advanced emission abatement technology. As a result, over 80% reduction of VOC emissions has been achieved since 2005.

Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.

Oshawa Assembly currently recycles 94% of all the waste generated from plant operations. However, the facility is committed to find further reductions and recycling opportunities, such as recycling used paper towel.

Energy and Water Conservation

In recent years, the facility has implemented several initiatives to reduce its overall energy consumption by as much as 50%. Some of these energy saving initiatives include:

  • Installation of high efficiency lighting fixtures
  • Installation of variable frequency drive pumps
  • Optimization of process exhausts
  • Summer steam shutdown

Oshawa Vehicle Assembly met GM’s external energy benchmark criteria developed by the U.S. Environment Protection Agency ENERGY STAR ® Challenge for Industry.

For Future Generations

The facility actively engages in community outreach programs, including leading local high school students in GM GREEN – creek monitoring involving three modules: water chemistry; benthic macro vertebrate sampling; and stream flow measurement. In addition to other environmental outreach projects, employees actively participate in annual community cleanup of the Oshawa Creek. The facility is also certified by the Wildlife Habitat Council under the Corporate Lands for Learning program.

CAMI Vehicle Assembly

GM CAMI Vehicle Assembly plant.

CAMI Vehicle Assembly, located in Ingersoll, Ontario, has been recognized for achievements in improving overall energy efficiency and conservations. The plant has received GM's top award for the best energy performance of all of GM's large volume vehicle assembly plants in North America. In addition, this plant has a dedicated natural habitat area certified by the Wildlife Habitat Council.

Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.

Working with its employees, the facility:

  • Recycled 65 tonnes of plastics and over 35 tonnes of paper in 2012.
  • Recycles 95.3% of overall waste, including scrap metal, batteries, plastics, cardboard, paper, pop cans, and more.
  • Sends 3% of high-energy-valued material to an Energy Recovery facility where steam is generated to produce electricity.
  • Successfully achieved “landfill-free” status in 2014.

Energy and Water Conservation

CAMI Vehicle Assembly met GM’s external energy benchmark criteria developed by the U.S. Environment Protection Agency ENERGY STAR ® Challenge for Industry. In 2012, the facility was recognized as GM’s Top Performer in Energy Efficiency Award for large volume vehicle assembly plants in North America. The facility also reduced its year-over-year:

  • Energy intensity by 10%
  • Water usage by 5%

For Future Generations

CAMI Vehicle Assembly is partnering with the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority to plant 12,000 trees over the next five years. This project will build upon a history of environmental projects at the site, including tree planting and bird box installations. The new forest will create a link between two existing natural areas located off the property, and will involve participation of students and community volunteers.

St. Catharines Powertrain

GM St. Catherines Powertrain plant.

St. Catharines Powertrain manufactures automotive engines and transmissions for many GM vehicles. In 2011, the facility received the Niagara Region Green Business Award for its commitment to promote natural wildlife habitat at the site. In 2013, the facility was the recipient of the Environmental Leadership Award through the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce in recognition of environmental achievements that demonstrate a commitment to the environment.

In the spring of 2014, the site applied for Wildlife at Work Certification through the Wildlife Habitat Council after a number of enhancement projects were completed in partnership with Niagara College’s Ecosystem Restoration Post-Graduate Program.

Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.

The facility is committed to reducing consumption, generating less waste and increasing recycling. As a result, the plant:

  • Recycles 98.5% of overall waste, such as scrap metal, batteries, plastics, oil filters, concrete, engine oil, fluorescent light tubes, cardboard, paper, pop cans, and more.
  • Sends the remaining 1.5% of non-recyclable material to an Energy Recovery facility where steam is generated to produce electricity.
  • Continues to maintain its "landfill-free" status for production wastes (first achieved in 2008).

Energy and Water Conservation

GM Canada continually strives to find ways to reduce our energy intensity (the amount of energy it takes to produce one engine or one transmission). St. Catharines Powertrain implemented some innovative initiatives to help meet these commitments, including:

  • The use of gravity fed canal-water to cool chillers eliminated the need for cooling towers and condenser pump infrastructure, and their associated energy costs.
  • Installing free-cooling heat exchangers for winter operations.
  • Replacement of over 300 inefficient 450W High Intensity Discharging lights with low energy 150W Light Emitting Diodes (LED) fixtures complete with occupancy sensors.

St. Catharines Powertrain met GM’s external energy benchmark criteria developed by the U.S. Environment Protection Agency ENERGY STAR ® Challenge for Industry.

For Future Generations

Since 1999, St. Catharines Powertrain has planted over 10,000 native trees on the property. The facility also reports its progress in reducing its carbon footprint and water use through participation in the Carbon Disclosure Project, a globally recognized sustainability reporting forum. The facility also takes part in “Earth Hour” each year where all non-essential lights and signs at the facility are turned off and employees are encouraged to participate at home.

St. Catharines Powertrain also participates in the annual “Take Your Kids to Work” day, local Earth Day clean-up events , and will soon be collaborating with the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority for on-site projects that benefit wildlife and watersheds.