The General Motors Fairfax assembly plant’s investment in clean energy and green practices has paid off. GM’s Fairfax, Kansas, assembly plant has become the only manufacturing facility in the state of Kansas to earn an Energy Star certification in the last nine years.
Notably, the Fairfax assembly builds the 2017 Chevrolet Malibu, which benefits from a host of efficient energy processes. Specifically, the paint process uses 40-percent less energy per vehicle than comparable paint shops. The shop’s “three-wet” painting techniques negates the need for a primer bake oven between color coats.
Energy teams have worked hard to identify areas where the plant can save energy as well. Practices as simple as shutting off lights in areas where work is not being done at the moment, or shutting down non-essential equipment has gone a long way.
“Achieving ENERGY STAR certification at an assembly plant takes the time and dedication of an entire team,” said Al Hildreth, GM global energy manager. “Our Fairfax employees are helping GM build cars more efficiently and reducing our environmental impact in Kansas.”
Additionally, a smart heating and cooling system has been implemented to better regulate temperatures at the plant in real time. The installation of 3,500 new LED lights helps, too. Cost savings hover around $5,600 per year after the switch to LED lights was carried out.
Looking ahead, GM has a larger goal; the automaker plans to reduce the energy needed to build a vehicle by 20 percent by the year 2020.