54 General Motors facilities now meet a voluntary energy reduction challenge raised by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, more than any other company in the world, while saving the automaker $90 million in energy costs.
Even though U.S. EPA requires facilities to reduce energy intensity by 10% within 5 years, GM’s 54 facilities have cut energy intensity by an average of 26% within a mere 2 to 3 years. The efforts result in an equivalent CO2 reduction of 1,256,000 metric tons, equal to the electricity required to power over 142,069 homes annually, or to supply electricity to a city roughly the size of New Orleans for a year. Joining the list of the 30 plants that met the Challenge last year are 22 sites that are part of GM International Operations and 2 facilities in North America.
To accomplish the Challenge, GM employees utilized tactics such as benchmarking energy use, upgrading to energy-efficient lighting, improving control of ventilation systems, and automating the shut-down process of equipment that previously was shut down manually as well as process energy reductions.
“Energy efficiency reduces our emissions and improves our bottom line, so we are driven to make improvements wherever we can,” said GM vice president of sustainability and global regulatory affairs Mike Robinson. “The EPA was right to recognize our global employees who work diligently to come up with new energy-saving ideas and implement efficiency measures every day. Their commitment is helping leave a smaller carbon footprint.”
But GM’s dedication to energy efficiency is a continuous and ongoing endeavor. In 2012, the EPA named GM one of its ENERGY STAR Partners of the Year for energy management, while the Lansing Customer Care and Aftersales parts distribution center earned ENERGY STAR building certification for performing in the top 25th percentile of similar facilities nationwide. In addition, the GM Lansing Delta Township plant, which earned ENERGY STAR plant certification for superior energy efficiency last year, has retained its certification for 2012.
“Improving the energy efficiency of our nation’s industrial facilities is critical to protecting our environment,” said chief of the ENERGY STAR Commercial & Industrial Branch Jean Lupinacci. “From the plant floor to the boardroom, organizations like GM are leading the way by making their facilities more efficient.”