General Motors announced today that it would join a long list of companies in a pledge to use electricity produced entirely by renewable energy sources. It’s a laudable goal, but boy have they given themselves plenty of breathing room. The plan is to reach that 100-percent renewable target by… 2050. That’s right, 34 years from now.
This goal also comes with inclusion into the RE100 organization, which consists of a bunch of companies that have committed to using only renewable energy by a certain date. The list of companies involved is extensive and includes big names such as IKEA, Nike, Coca-Cola, Google, BMW, Bloomberg, and more. They all have somewhat different plans, but all have pledged to reach the 100-percent goal at some point. Impressively, Microsoft hit its 100-percent target all the way back in 2014.
GM is aiming to have every single one of its 350 facilities around the world powered by renewable sources that include solar, wind, and landfill gas. To its credit, it has made strides in its use of renewable energy, and even reuses old Volt batteries. With the installation of two more wind farms, the automaker will surpass its previously stated goal of 125 megawatts of power per hour by 2020.
Really, our only gripe here is GM’s 2050 goal. One of GM’s PR representatives informed us that at the end of this year, 3.8 percent of the company’s electricity will come from renewable sources. That’s nice, but it means that GM is still more than 96-percent away from its newly stated target.
It’s great that GM is trying to be more environmentally friendly, but who knows what the energy sector will look like three-plus decades from today? And even if the automaker somehow doesn’t meet its goal, there’s a good chance no one will even remember this particular commitment. We’re glad GM is improving and striving for 100 percent, but far-flung goals don’t impress us as much real-world changes.