Dictionary.com defines the word “challenge” by a call or summons to engage in any contest, as of skill, strength, etc.
In 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency issued a call; a national call-to-action to improve the energy efficiency of America’s commercial and industrial buildings by 10 percent or more. It was dubbed the ENERGY STAR® Challenge for Industry.
Nearly three years later, we have 54 facilities that have met the voluntary energy reduction challenge – more than any company worldwide.
The CO2 equivalent reduction of all the facilities combined is more than 1,256,000 metric tons. That’s enough energy to power a city the size of New Orleans for one year. In total, the facilities that met the Challenge reduced their energy usage, on average, by 26 percent, far surpassing the goal of 10 percent.
To achieve these goals, we employed a wide range of tactics across our facilities, including, but not limited to, upgrading to energy-efficient lighting, improving control of ventilation systems and automating the shut-down process of equipment that previously was shut down manually.
“The EPA was right to recognize our global employees who work diligently to come up with new energy-saving ideas and put to work efficiency measures every day,” said Mike Robinson, GM vice president of sustainability and global regulatory affairs. “Their commitment is helping leave a smaller carbon footprint.”
If all of this sounds familiar, that’s because it is: Last December, GM announced that 30 of its plants had met the EPA’s Challenge for Industry. By adding two dozen more facilities in 2012, GM shows its commitment to continuous improvement.
From the very beginning, we’ve said that reducing energy emissions is not only good for the planet, but it’s good for our business, as well. And saving $90 million certainly is good for business. Improving the bottom line is a necessity at GM, and the more projects we can take on like this one, the more improvement we will see.
A complete list of the facilities to meet the EPA’s Challenge for Industry can be found here.