General Motors’ eco-friendly pursuits extend beyond electrified vehicles. While the nation awaits the release of the Chevy Volt, GM’s busy building LEED certified facilities around the world. The company’s headquarters building in Shanghai, China recently received LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

The facility, which opened in December 2009, is only one of 43 LEED Gold certified projects in China. The building was designed with the LEED Rating System in mind. In order to achieve Gold level certification, several eco-friendly measures were implemented including occupancy sensitive lighting, collecting rainwater and using it to flush the toilets, light reflective materials on the pavement and the roof and permeable concrete to reduce rainwater runoff.

These upgrades have led to a 30 percent reduction in water use compared to other office buildings in China and a 16.5 percent increase in energy efficiency than comparable buildings.

According to Kevin Wale, president and managing director of the GM China Group, “Achievement of LEED certification was part of the original program during the design phase of our new Shanghai home. This is an important step in GM’s effort for reducing the carbon footprint of our global operations for the benefit of our local communities. At the same time, it is enabling us to create a more comfortable working atmosphere for our employees.” Source: GM

This isn’t the first LEED Gold certification for the automaker. In 2006, the Lansing Delta Township Assembly Plant in Michigan became the first LEED Gold certified auto manufacturing facility.

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