Chevrolet Malibu label provides ecologic scorecard

(March 1, 2013) DETROIT — Most Chevrolet Malibu customers say they want to know just how green their car is, regardless of its exterior color. Now they can find out what was done to reduce its environmental impact from an at-a-glance Ecologic window label.

“We’ve seen an increase in customers looking specifically for fuel efficiency, but many people are intrigued by reading their vehicle also is made in a responsible way,” said Matt LaFontaine, general manager, LaFontaine Automotive Group in Dexter, Mich.

According to consumer research, 63 percent of Malibu customers cite “environmentally friendliness” as an “extremely” or “very important” reason for purchase. That number increases to 78 percent for Malibu Eco buyers.

The vehicle’s environmental credentials are built in at almost every step of production.

    • GM’s landfill-free Toledo, Ohio plant manufactures the highest-volume transmission for the Malibu. All waste from daily operations there is reused, recycled, or converted to energy. And the facility is powered 17 percent by renewable landfill gas and a 1.2MW rooftop solar array.

    • Malibu's highest-volume engine is produced at GM’s Tonawanda plant in New York, another landfill-free facility. An area Chamber of Commerce recently recognized Tonawanda for implementing and practicing a ‘green’ and sustainable business philosophy.  Environmental efforts include wildlife habitat development and installing electric-vehicle charging stations in employee parking lots.

    • Most Malibu midsize cars are assembled at Fairfax Assembly, a 2012 Pollution Prevention Award-winning plant recognized by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment for energy-reduction and recycling efforts. The facility recycles 91 percent of its everyday waste.

All three plants recently surpassed the U.S. EPA’s ENERGY STAR Challenge for Industry to cut energy intensity by more than 10 percent. Their collective CO2-equivalent reduction of 103,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases is comparable to the annual energy use of nearly 5,000 U.S. homes.

GM integrates recycled material into the making of the Malibu. Shredded tires from vehicle testing at GM’s Milford Providing Ground are combined with other post-consumer plastics to create baffles that deflect air and water under the hood. Eighty-five percent of the vehicle itself is recyclable, which conserves resources and reduces landfill deposits.

Scrap from the manufacturing process also helps benefit society. Leftover material from manufacturing the sound absorbers that help make the vehicle quiet is reprocessed to insulate coats that transform into sleeping bags for the homeless.

The Malibu's 2.5-liter model delivers customers an EPA-estimated 34 mpg on the highway (37 mpg for the Eco model featuring eAssist), using various fuel-savings technologies — continuously variable valve timing, direct injection, an electronically controlled six-speed transmission, electric power steering and lightweight materials.

All 2013 Chevy vehicles sold in the U.S. feature Ecologic labels listing various environmental  features and benefits audited by a third-party sustainability agency – a first for an automotive brand.