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GM, Auto Suppliers Form Partnership for the Environment

WASHINGTON, D.C., Aug. 4, 2003 - General Motors Corporation, automobile suppliers, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have announced a new partnership to increase the competitiveness of U.S. companies while reducing environmental impacts.

"The Suppliers Partnership for the Environment (SP) is a new forum for sharing environmental best practices throughout the automotive industry supply chain, especially for the benefit of the smaller, lower-tier companies in the industry," said Rebecca Spearot, director, environmental management, Lear Corporation, and SP's first chair of the board. "SP will enable automotive equipment manufacturers to actively engage all levels of their supply chains in development of common-sense approaches to reducing environmental impacts. Through the partnership, suppliers will be able to continuously improve products and processes, increase energy efficiency, eliminate wastes, identify cost-saving opportunities, and optimize resources and technologies."

"GM is committed to environmental excellence and to cooperating with and supporting our supply chain," said Pat Beattie, director, environmental services, GM. "While working with EPA on a pilot project initiated with our Saturn division, we identified real opportunities to improve both the environment and the competitiveness of companies in our supply chain," she said. "SP grew out of that experience. This organization is committed to providing quantifiable value to the automobile supply chain and we are pleased to be a leader in this effort.”

SP will provide value to its members by: Providing a forum for companies to work together to share "best practices" through task forces and work groups to address specific issues; providing facility-specific technical assistance on energy and chemical use optimization and other issues; identifying and addressing externally driven environmental impacts; and retaining the costs savings realized through SP activities.

"EPA welcomes the opportunity to work with the Suppliers Partnership for the Environment," "This is a unique opportunity for government and industry to work together toward the common goals of improved environmental performance and progress in the automobile supply chain,” said Stephen L. Johnson, EPA assistant administrator for prevention, pesticides, and toxic substances (now acting deputy administrator for EPA). "One of the key things EPA brings to the suppliers partnership is connection to other programs within EPA and other federal agencies, which brings additional resources to bear on pollution prevention in the industry."

Johnson continued: "Through the suppliers partnership, EPA has engaged the Department of Commerce to provide technical assistance to suppliers. The department's National Institute of Standards and Technology - Manufacturing Extension Partnership will conduct facility-specific workshops to help suppliers identify ways to reduce waste, conserve energy and cut costs. In addition, EPA is also coordinating with Department of Energy programs to help companies increase their energy efficiency.”

"As a member-driven organization, SP is addressing several different issues important to maintaining a productive and green supply chain including energy and chemical use optimization, training, education, technical assistance, sustainability and transactional processes," said Rebecca Spearot of Lear Corporation. "SP is open to all automotive companies and the members are to be commended for the proactive environmental supply chain management efforts that have led to the creation of SP.”

The partnership's members include: Ashland Inc.; B.A.E. Industries; Delphi Corporation; Detroit Chassis LLC; Federal-Mogul Corporation; Freudenberg-NOK; General Motors Corporation; Haas TCM; Johnson Controls, Inc.; Lear Corporation; Motorola, Inc.; NSK Petoskey Plastics, Inc.; and Visteon Corporation.

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