The Environmental Protection Agency recently threw down the greenhouse gas gauntlet by challenging America’s commercial and industrial buildings to reduce their energy intensity by 10 percent or more.
In response, 30 General Motors facilities in North America have exceeded the target, avoiding more than 778,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions. That is the equivalent of powering 97,000 homes annually in the United States or planting 20 million trees that grow for 10 years.
“These numbers are a testament to the work our facilities do to ensure they emit the least amount of energy, while still running their operations at full capacity,” said Al Hildreth, energy manager for General Motors. “It’s almost hard to believe the numbers are true, but our internal processes really help drive us to improve.”
Plant professionals at GM rely on data to show them how they are tracking against their year-over-year goals. Every aspect of the plant’s activity – from quality to environmental activity – is tracked by a series of scorecards that measures performance on a monthly basis. These scorecards are then posted and shared internally so every team member can see the progress. In the event that numbers are trending low, counter-measures are in place so they can improve accordingly.
Plants have a dashboard system in place which displays real-time energy usage. In theory, one is able to see a snapshot of energy use at any point in the day.
“We integrate environmental consideration into every aspect of our business,” said Hildreth. “Sound energy practices are just as important as cost and quality, which is why it is a core method of our business strategy.”