U.S. automaker, General Motors reports that the company has installed 186,000 LED bulbs and fixtures at its facilities in the past two years. The LED lighting installation is just one of many energy-saving projects that the company has taken on this year that will save an estimated $73 million in energy costs annually.
GM has the ambitious goal of meeting the electricity needs of all of its global operations with 100 percent renewable energy by 2050.
“Energy efficiency can reduce electricity loads, which will help us more easily transition to renewable energy sources,” said Al Hildreth, GM’s global energy manager. “Together, these environmental improvements help us reduce our carbon footprint, cut costs and deliver value back to our customers.”
GM points out that sixteen of its facilities recently earned recognition for continued efforts to increase energy efficiency.
The company’s Fort Wayne, Indian assembly plant and its Lansing Delta Township plant in Michigan achieved ENERGY STAR® certification for their superior energy performance. In addition to being more energy-efficient than 75 percent of similar buildings nationwide, these plants meet the strict performance levels set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
At Lansing Delta Township new doors were installed to isolate airflow in paint shops, and other improvements included more efficient energy management systems at Fort Wayne Assembly. The Fort Wayne plant also installed new variable-frequency drives that help in cooling tower pump systems, and the fans operate with greater precision. Not surprisingly both plants use LED lighting in new facilities.
GM warehouses in Burton, and Waterford, Michigan also achieved ENERGY STAR® certification. New skylights at these Customer Care and Aftersales operations brought in more natural light. The facilities in Burton and Waterford also installed LEDs with motion sensors and newly installed energy management systems now control heating.
Another ENERGY STAR® program, called the Challenge for Industry, gives recognition to industrial facilities that have reduced energy intensity by 10 percent within five years. Energy intensity is an estimate of the energy efficiency of the U.S. economy, and it is calculated as units of energy per gross domestic product (GDP). Lower energy intensity indicates a lower cost of converting energy into GDP.
GM Sites that Meet ENERGY STAR® Challenge for Industry
In 2016, 12 GM sites met the ENERGY STAR Challenge for Industry, 10 of which were repeat achievers.
- Bedford Casting Operations in Indiana — first-time achiever
- Grand Rapids Operations in Michigan — first-time achiever
- Defiance Operations in Ohio
- Flint Metal Center in Michigan
- Hamtramck Assembly in Michigan
- Marion Stamping Plant in Indiana
- Qingdao Assembly in China
- Rochester Operations in New York
- Talegaon Engine in India
- Toledo Transmission in Ohio
- Tonawanda Engine in New York
- Wentzville Assembly in Missouri
“Improving the energy efficiency of our nation’s industrial facilities is critical to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving the health of businesses,” said Jean Lupinacci, chief of the ENERGY STAR® Commercial & Industrial Branch. “From the plant floor to the boardroom, organizations are leading the way by making their facilities more efficient and achieving EPA’s ENERGY STAR® Challenge for Industry.”
Last month, GM was named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for corporate sustainability leadership in the automotive industry. In March, GM also earned its fifth ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year award for providing leadership in protecting the environment through the superior energy efficiency of its facilities and operations.