SOURCE: General MotorsDESCRIPTION:
Last week seven of our sites earned new certifications from the Wildlife Habitat Council for establishing wildlife habitats on corporate lands and 12 earned recertification, having shown continuous growth of their habitats and environmental education programs.
We lead all automakers in Wildlife Habitat Council certifications and are now halfway toward our goal of securing wildlife habitat certifications at each of our manufacturing sites by 2020. We now manage nearly 4,700 acres of such habitat at 46 sites in eight countries.
So grab your camera and binoculars for an around-the-world safari. Here’s a visitor’s guide to our certified wildlife habitats in each country.
Gunsan, South Korea
Our Gunsan Complex is the first site the Wildlife Habitat Council has certified in Korea and is our first manufacturing site in Asia to earn certification. Its two-acre habitat includes native plants like the royal azalea and rescued trees from surrounding construction sites that first sprouted more than a century ago.
Anhui Province, China
Our Guangde Proving Ground in China features a 27,000-square-foot pollinator garden and wetland. Pollinators – rapidly declining worldwide – are critical to the reproduction of 90 percent of flowering plants and one third of human food crops worldwide. Last year the vehicle testing facility became the first program by any company to earn certification from the Wildlife Habitat Council.
Spring Hill, Tenn., USA
Green and great blue herons, bobcats, and wild turkeys are among the diverse wildlife species that call Spring Hill Manufacturing’s 800-acre wildlife habitat home. The site was recertified for both Wildlife at Work and Corporate Lands for Learning this year. In fact, Spring Hill is one of only four GM facilities to have certifications for both WHC programs (our assembly plants in Lansing, Mich. and Arlington, Texas, and vehicle testing facility in Milford, Mich. are the other three).
Our Spring Hill plant was also a finalist for the Wildlife Habitat Council and Ducks Unlimited’s Wings Over Wetlands award this year, which recognizes companies that protect wetland habitat for waterfowl and other migratory birds.
Oshawa, Ont., Canada
Oshawa is home to our Canadian headquarters and Oshawa Assembly plant, both of which received recertification this year. It’s also home to the McLaughlin Bay Wildlife Reserve, a 105-acre nature preserve behind the GM Canada HQ building.
One of the more unique features of the habitat is the 4½-mile Dogwood Trail. Designed in consultation with the Canadian Institute of the Blind to help the visually impaired better experience the preserve’s natural beauty, the trail features a wheelchair-accessible path lined with a guide rope for easier mobility. Visitors can listen to native woodland birds while learning the history of the habitat from large-text and Braille panels.
Ramos Arizpe, Mexico
Located in the water-stressed region of northern Mexico, our Ramos Arizpe Complex features a three-acre artificial lagoon as a part of the plant’s filtration and purification system. In addition to recycling facility water, the lagoon serves as an important natural habitat for wildlife, providing an oasis for migrating and local birds. The site became our first in Mexico to earn certification from the Wildlife Habitat Council last year.
Employees from our Rosario Automotive Complex use the grounds as a learning ground to teach students about sustainable manufacturing practices. The site’s three-acre habitat features an outdoor classroom with furniture made from recycled cable reels from the plant. Rosario is the first facility in Argentina to earn certification from the Wildlife Habitat Council.
São José dos Campos, Brazil
Our São José dos Campos site also uses its habitat as an environmental education tool. The plant often hosts local students to tour the manufacturing process and the site’s outdoor habitat area. Students learn about the wetland and containment lake used for organic wastewater treatment, as well as the local flora and fauna that rely on these bodies of water.
Ellesmere Port, England
A former racecourse, stud farm, and polo ground, our Ellesmere Port site dates back nearly 10 centuries to William the Conqueror. Today it is home to a vehicle assembly plant for our Vauxhall brand and more than 90 acres of wildlife habitat, including deciduous woodlands, grasslands, freshwater wetlands and ponds.
Ellesmere Port’s wildlife activities began in the mid-70s when the team converted the site’s fire-water reservoir into a wetland. In 1999, we partnered with a local conservation group to plant 2,000 trees – one for each of the plant’s employees – in an area known as Hooton Wood. In recent years our employees have enhanced the site’s habitat for pollinators, planting native flowers and establishing no-mow zones.
KEYWORDS: Environment and Climate Change, Conservation, GM, General Motors, Wildlife Habitat Council, #WHCCon15, Wildlife at Work, Corporate Lands for Learning, Ducks Unlimited Wings over Wetlands, GM Spring Hill Manufacturing