30 GM Plants Meet EPA Energy-Reduction Challenge
Sites average 25 percent reduction in energy intensity
(3BL Media / theCSRfeed) Detroit, MI – December 16, 2011 – General Motors has cut energy intensity at 30 North American plants by an average of 25 percent – equivalent to the emissions from powering 97,000 U.S. homes – to meet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star© Challenge for Industry.
Collectively, the manufacturing facilities avoided more than 778,380 metric tons of greenhouse gas. It would require the planting of 20 million trees that grow for 10 years to mitigate the same amount.
And the efforts saved GM $50 million in energy costs.
EPA’s program challenges manufacturing companies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by improving their energy efficiency by 10 percent within five years. The GM plants agreed to establish an energy intensity baseline normalized by production volume. They set a 10-percent improvement goal, implemented energy efficiency projects, tracked energy use and verified savings.
"EPA congratulates GM for achieving these important energy efficiency improvements," said Jean Lupinacci, chief of the ENERGY STAR Commercial and Industrial Program. "Energy efficiency can deliver significant financial and environmental benefits, and we look forward to GM's continued leadership and partnership with ENERGY STAR."
To achieve the challenge, GM employed tactics such as benchmarking energy use through energy management systems; automating shut-down of equipment; and upgrading to energy-efficient lighting and more-efficient heating and cooling systems.
The achievements follow the Lansing (Mich.) Delta Township plant receiving EPA Energy Star Certification for performing in the top 25th percentile of similar facilities nationwide. Worldwide, GM is committed to reducing emissions and petroleum dependence by being more energy efficient.
“GM employees at all levels help us reduce energy use and be more efficient throughout our operations,” said Mike Robinson, GM vice president of Sustainability and Global Regulatory Affairs. “With this also comes a strong business case – these improvements saved us $50 million, which helps make the company more competitive.”
GM’s 30 plants represent nearly a third of all sites that have achieved the ENERGY STAR Challenge for Industry. According to the EPA, 86 of the 386 manufacturing sites that have taken the challenge have met the goal to date, improving their energy efficiency by 10 percent or more.
General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM, TSX: GMM) and its partners produce vehicles in 30 countries, and the company has leadership positions in the world's largest and fastest-growing automotive markets. GM’s brands include Chevrolet and Cadillac, as well as Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Isuzu, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety, security and information services, can be found at http://www.gm.com.
ENERGY STAR was introduced by EPA in 1992 as a voluntary, market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency. Today, the ENERGY STAR label can be found on more than 60 products as well as new homes and commercial and industrial buildings that meet strict energy-efficiency specifications set by the EPA. Last year alone, Americans, with the help of ENERGY STAR, saved $18 billion on their energy bills while reducing the greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those of 34 million vehicles.