Case Study: General Motors

Industry: Automotive, Multiple Campus Revitalization 2016-2021

Since 2016, Green Standards’ partnership with GM has diverted 5,000+ tons of surplus furniture from landfill while making in-kind donations of more than $900,000 to nearly 100 non-profits through the sustainable decommission of multiple corporate campuses in Michigan, spanning millions of square feet.


Beneficiary Highlight:

Cody High School

Detroit’s Cody High School received furniture donations and a three-room makeover. Cody High School is just one of dozens of schools that have received furniture donations through our work with General Motors in Michigan.

“Our schools very much needed the items that were so generously donated as it will enable us to focus more on programming. Thank you for your donation!”

William Coleman, CFO
Detroit Community Schools

General Motors

The Objective

General Motors is in the process of transforming their corporate campuses and work environments to enable more collaboration among employees. They partnered with Green Standards to repurpose tens of thousands of pieces of office furniture and equipment that would no longer have a home at their headquarters, campuses, and facilities. The goal was to keep these surplus items in use through in-kind donation, to the benefit of 100 Michigan-based community organizations.

The Challenge

With planned renovations at General Motors’ Technical Center in Warren, the Proving Ground in Milford and global headquarters in Detroit, GM required a turnkey solution provider that would expedite the decommission process at several locations simultaneously. This required the coordination with multiple stakeholders on project sites, while identifying and facilitating suitable beneficiary partners for workplace office assets that wouldn’t be resold.

Green Standards Recycle Icon

Landfill Diversion

Asset Recovery

Green Standards Turnkey Service Icon

Turnkey Service

Aerial View Of GM Global Technical Center
Aerial View Of GM Global Technical Center

“This is a project we have lots of passion around. This is an awesome opportunity for us to make sure that we are not only benefitting the Tech Center but we’re also benefitting General Motors and strengthening the outside communities in which we operate.”

Candice Messing
Program Manager, General Motors

The Solution

Green Standards managed the entire process, including the dismantling, removal and relocation of each item, and coordinating between the movers, buyers, local non-profits and specialized recyclers. It also provided documentation and in-depth environmental and social impact reporting to help General Motors capture and review the outcome of the sustainable office decommission projects.

The Results

Through our program, General Motors kept 5,999 tons of surplus office furniture and equipment in use, with a landfill diversion rate of 99.9% across all project phases. To date, Green Standards has facilitated in-kind donations worth $911,920 to 89 non-profits and charitable organizations in Michigan.

With more projects ongoing with General Motors, we expect to reach and surpass our cumulative goal of $1,000,000 worth of in-kind donations to 100 non-profit beneficiaries in the coming weeks and months.

“General Motors and Green Standards have partnered with us to look at spaces on the campus that can be re-visualized and to see that it has a better purpose to serve the needs of our students today. In many cases, because of budget constraints we’re not able to do those beautification projects and when we are able to get these types of support systems, they fill in the gap that many times is never met.”

Johnathon Matthews
Principal, Cody Academy of Public Leadership

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