opsEnvironmental™ Fuels General Motors’ Environmental compliance engine


Courtesy of IHS Markit

Software provides 45% time savings on SARA 313 reporting during first year of implementation with substantially higher returns anticipated in subsequent years.

The Company

General Motors (GM) is the world’s largest automobile manufacturing company, as well as the world’s third largest company. GM has manufacturing operations in 32 countries and employs about 325,000 people around the world.

The Challenge

The large size and complexity of processes in GM’s operations meant that the environmental staff was faced with massive amounts of data to track and report. It was determined that a system was needed to enable more efficient and effective management of environmental information both for internal environmental reporting and for reporting to stakeholders and external regulatory agencies. The company wanted a solution that would enable the headquarters environmental staff to oversee, manage and report on environmental data across the organization, but which also offered enough detail and flexibility to be suitable for facility level use. In addition, they needed a solution with a strong enterprise orientation and the potential for possible global adoption.

The Solution

To address these challenges, GM reviewed a variety of software packages against a set of criteria. These  included: functionality in compliance tracking and task management; ability to easily manage emissions calculations, emissions factors, etc. across the organization; configurability, transparency and adaptability; customer satisfaction and company track record. On the basis of these criteria, opsEnvironmental™ was selected as the best fit for GM’s needs, and in late 2004, software deployment began across all of GM’s North American operations, consisting of approximately 136 facilities.

Project Description

The solution was implemented rapidly, with a functional emissions management system and metrics system designed, configured, tested, accepted and deployed in 7 months. To address GM’s immediate needs, opsEnvironmental’s air module was first deployed across all U.S. sites to manage air emissions from a variety of sources and to meet many different regulatory requirements including Title V and NESHAP compliance. The software was subsequently configured to track and manage waste metrics information for use in GM’s corporate-wide environmental reporting to company shareholders and the general public. The metrics tracking was set up for all facilities in North America. Following this, the software’s opsInventory™ module was deployed for management of U.S. Form R reporting. The project involved a variety of production facilities, including automotive assembly and coating, metal machining and stamping facilities, and foundry and aluminum die casting facilities, as well as testing facilities. The system was integrated with multiple existing data sources and systems, including GM’s MSDS system, their materials management system, and others. In its first year, opsEnvironmental™ has brought significant benefits to GM, including increased data quality and consistency and increased efficiency in data collection and reporting.

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