General Motors pledged to be carbon neutral by 2040 -- removing emissions from all of its products and global operations or offsetting those emissions through carbon credits or carbon capture within the next two decades.
The company also committed to have a fully electric fleet of vehicles by 2035.
It's a big step for a company whose products are responsible for a large percentage of the greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global climate change and comes on the heels of a pledge to launch a massive fleet of new electric vehicles and a $27 billion commitment to electrification late last year.
The auto giant said that it would work with the Environmental Defense Fund on its vision for an all-electric future and will work toward eliminating tailpipe emissions from light-duty vehicles by 2035. Moving its portfolio, which today is dominated by internal combustion engine vehicles, will be a transition, a GM spokesperson told TechCrunch, adding that the main priority is to bring employees along in that shift.
GM's also getting into the charging business too. The company said it would work with "governments, partners, and suppliers around the world to build out the necessary charging infrastructure and encourage the use of renewable energy in electric vehicle charging."
To power the company's operations, GM said it will use only renewable energy power at its U.S. facilities by 2030 and by 2035 all of its operations worldwide will use renewable power.
These commitments are also going to extend to its supply chain over time as the company works with its suppliers to reduce their emissions, increase transparency and source sustainable materials.
"While electric vehicles do not produce tailpipe emissions, it is critical that the impact associated with production and charging is incorporated in our plans. By working with utility companies to provide access to more renewable energy sources, GM hopes to address the entire production cycle of future EVs, with benefits that will extend far beyond our own vehicles and operations," the company's chief executive Mary Barra said in a statement.
This commitment is going to require a massive transformation that encompasses more than GM alone, Barra wrote, because "making the transition to an EV is simply not possible right now — either because the appropriate vehicles do not exist or because access to charging is limited where [people] live and work."