NASCAR and Chevrolet Build Nesting Boxes from Volt Battery Covers

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NASCAR and Chevrolet Build Nesting Boxes from Volt Battery Covers

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Monday, April 14, 2014 - 12:30pm

CAMPAIGN: GM Waste Reduction


Leading up to the NASCAR race at Darlington Raceway in South Carolina this past weekend, Chevrolet and General Motors showed off their product in a different way.  Sustainability leaders from the company helped a group of 20 first grade students from a nearby school transform scrap Chevrolet Volt battery cases into wood duck nesting boxes.

If you’re not familiar with the wood duck, it enjoys waddling around streams and ponds and sitting in trees. The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources calls it the most important species to South Carolina waterfowl enthusiasts. And, it’s the only duck that people can build homes for.

Because the Darlington track is home to several acres of protected wetlands, we partnered with NASCAR to contribute to habitat preservation while sharing some environmental knowledge with future leaders and outdoor enthusiasts.

The nesting box idea was the brainchild of John Bradburn, our global waste-reduction manager. In a couple of years, we’ve built 520 of them and peppered them throughout our properties and beyond. Spring is a great time for the project as wood ducks begin to look for a safe place to lay eggs.

GM Sustainability Program Manager Mary Alice Kurtz and Pamela Jamieson, environmental engineer at Detroit Hamtramck Assembly – home of the Chevrolet Volt—led the activity in South Carolina yesterday.

“I think we got the students to start thinking of waste differently,” said Kurtz. “It’s all about training yourself to think of ways to repurpose an object so it remains useful and doesn’t end up in the ground.”

Jamieson enjoyed demonstrating the process and working with the students.

“This is a project that helps kids think about all the other creatures we share this world with and how our actions can make an impact,” she said.

Thinking of waste as a resource out of place has produced several creative recycling and reuse opportunities for our company; a philosophy that’s helped us achieve an industry-leading 110 landfill-free facilities around the world that recycle, reuse or convert to energy all waste from daily operations.

For example, used tires from our proving grounds are recycled to make air and water deflectors for the Volt, and our plastic packaging is mixed with other materials to make radiator shrouds for the Silverado.

In fact, if you took all the material we recycled in one year—that’s 2.6 million metric tons—it would be enough to fill 6.8 million extended-cab pickup trucks that end-to-end would stretch around the world.

Like Darlington Raceway, we strive to maintain biodiversity throughout our facilities’ grounds. Not only do we have 26 habitat programs certified by the Wildlife Habitat Council, more than any other automaker, we also maintain more than 4,200 acres of wildlife habitat at our operations around the world.

Kurtz and Jamieson presented the boxes to the team at Darlington Raceway to install in its wetlands.


Keywords: Environment & Climate Change | Chevrolet | Darlington Speedway | NASCAR | NASCAR Green | chevrolet volt | nesting box | reuse

CAMPAIGN: GM Waste Reduction