GM Names New Sustainability Chief Amid EV Push

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Kristen Siemen

GM’s next VP of Sustainable Workplaces and Chief Sustainability Officer, Kristen Siemen. Image credit: General Motors

General Motors (GM) announced that its first-ever sustainability chief, Dane Parker, has decided to retire effective May 1, 2021, and will be replaced by Kristen Siemen.

As the VP of Sustainable Workplaces and Chief Sustainability Officer, Siemen will be responsible for the automaker’s plans to become carbon neutral by 2040. She will also oversee major construction projects and efforts to modernize GM’s offices to facilitate collaborative work.

Siemen currently serves as the Executive Director of GM’s Global Energy Strategy, Certification & Compliance and Test Labs. In this position, she worked closely with Parker to set science-based targets for the company’s net-zero carbon push and led a cross-functional leadership team to set corporate energy strategies.

“As one of the world’s largest automakers, we aim to set an example of responsible leadership,” Siemen said in a press release. “I am honored and humbled to have the opportunity to help lead GM in our plan to reach a zero-emissions future and am excited for all we plan to accomplish in the coming years.”

Siemen’s appointment closely follows GM’s landmark announcement in January 2021 that it would shift to producing only electric vehicles (EVs) by 2035. The use of GM’s products accounts for 75% of emissions related to its commitment to become carbon neutral.

Alongside its EV goal, the automaker also announced it signed the Business Ambition Pledge for 1.5⁰C, which is a call to action from a global coalition of UN agencies, business, and industry leaders to limit the worst impacts of climate change.

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