Amid greening of GM’s facilities, a bit of greenwashing, and still leader in full-size SUV sales

General Motors is such a contradiction.  On the one hand they create a beautiful car like the EV1, then on the other hand they crushed it in favor of selling Hummers (via the Hummer Tax Credit).  On the one hand they’re building the Chevy Volt, selling quite a few of them, and are making a lot of progress in greening their business, but they’re still crowing about being the leader in full size SUV sales.

Hey, GM, full size SUV sales are the problem, not something to brag about!

I’m going through 2013 press releases and making sure I archive everything of importance, to refer to it all later.  That means I’m going through GM’s press releases right now, and pondering to myself the significance of some of the business practice changes they made in 2012-13, such as running whole factories off of landfill gas, or installing solar panels, and so on.  But then I come across this sequence of press releases:

Yup, on September 11, 2013, GM’s press release was about their full size SUV sales.

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The attacks on September 11, 2001 were about America’s appetite for Oil, and how that led Western Oil Companies to subvert the politics of the Middle East.  Why?  So that people could continue driving full size SUV’s.

The other items in that time period?  Bordering on greenwashing.

GM’s marketing team is probably clueless about the symbolic significance of this.  Crowing about their significant sales of the class of vehicle that caused the attacks on September 11, 2001?

To be fair, GM made some significant announcements during 2013 of big improvements with significant impact.  On Sept 16, they announced an increase in size of their battery research lab.  In October, they announced a 1.8 Megawatt solar array at a factory in Ohio.  In December they announced that a pair of factories had increased their use of landfill gas, and established their 109th landfill-free facility.  etc..etc..  Running a whole factory on solar power is significant, as is running two factories on landfill gas, as is going landfill-free.

But, to be proud of being the leader in full size SUV sales when that’s the very problem … Is GM getting it?  Or are they just mouthing some words that sound like they’re embracing green principles?

About David Herron

David Herron is a writer and software engineer living in Silicon Valley. He primarily writes about electric vehicles, clean energy systems, climate change, peak oil and related issues. When not writing he indulges in software projects and is sometimes employed as a software engineer. David has written for sites like PlugInCars and TorqueNews, and worked for companies like Sun Microsystems and Yahoo.

About David Herron

David Herron is a writer and software engineer living in Silicon Valley. He primarily writes about electric vehicles, clean energy systems, climate change, peak oil and related issues. When not writing he indulges in software projects and is sometimes employed as a software engineer. David has written for sites like PlugInCars and TorqueNews, and worked for companies like Sun Microsystems and Yahoo.

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