Do you know of a local energy-saving project in need of funding? Chevrolet wants to help. The company announced this week a plan to invest $40 million in clean energy projects across the U.S., with the goal of cutting 8 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions. That's the equivalent of a year of electricity use in 970,874 homes—an effort designed to help Chevy offset emissions from cars that it sells.
"This is a big deal—as significant as cutting annual carbon emissions to zero for all the businesses and households in Portland," said Susan Anderson, Director of the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability for Portland, Oregon, in a statement. "Cities are working diligently to reduce carbon emissions, and this is the sort of leadership initiative that brings private and public efforts into alignment."
Communities and schools will have the opportunity to apply for funding, and decisions will be made by government organizations and academics organized through the Climate Neutral Business Network. The investments, which will be made over the next three to five years, will go toward a number of different types of projects, including smart energy sensors, solar panels, wind farms, and forestry projects.
Chevy's news came just hours after GM started publicly trading on the New York Stock Exchange again. So in addition to being a general goodwill project, Chevy's clean energy funding may be a signal to investors that the company has shifted its priorities to focus on sustainability. And like the Pepsi Refresh Project, it's a way for the brand to gain the trust of communities around the country.