General Motors now has 54 facilities meeting a voluntary energy reduction challenge set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – more than any company worldwide. GM saves $90 million in energy costs as a result.
To meet the ENERGY STAR® Challenge for Industry, U.S. EPA standards require facilities to reduce energy intensity by 10 percent within five years. GM’s 54 facilities cut energy intensity by an average of 26 percent within just two to three years.
The resulting CO2 equivalent reduction of 1,256,000 metric tons is equal to the electricity needed to power more than 142,069 homes annually or provide electricity to a city about the size of New Orleans for one year.
New to the list are 22 GM International Operations sites, as well as two facilities in North America. These join the 30 GM plants that met the Challenge last year.
To achieve the Challenge, GM employed 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 Mike Robinson, GM vice president of sustainability and global regulatory affairs. “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.”
GM’s commitment to energy efficiency is ongoing.
In 2012, the agency named GM one of its ENERGY STAR® Partners of the Year for energy management and 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. Additionally, 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 Jean Lupinacci, chief of the ENERGY STAR® Commercial & Industrial Branch. “From the plant floor to the boardroom, organizations like GM are leading the way by making their facilities more efficient.”