General Motors has been named a Partner of the Year by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, an award that, we think, adds even more legitimacy to the sustainable activity we write about on this blog on a regular basis.
The award, which is given to companies for their commitment to energy efficiency and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, will be officially presented to GM at the 2012 ENERGY STAR Awards in Washington D.C. on March 15.
“Our energy experts engage employees across our organization in reducing emissions and increasing efficiency,” said Mike Robinson, GM’s vice president of sustainability and global regulatory affairs. “This relentless pursuit helps us improve our environmental footprint and strengthen our business.”
In order to be eligible for this award, GM had to demonstrate progress in 2011.
Here’s what we did:
• Used an energy management dashboard system to save more than $3 million in energy costs.
• Dedicated $12 million for implementation of energy cost-savings projects. The investment paid itself off in less than one year.
• Avoided putting more than 131,400 metric tons of CO2 into the atmosphere, which is equivalent to avoiding electric usage in 16, 400 homes or planting 3.4 million trees that grow for 10 years.
Overall, we saved more than $15 million in energy costs.
But wait. There’s more.
30 of our plants met the EPA’s Challenge for Industry, cutting energy intensity by an average of 25 percent at plants. And our Lansing Delta Township facility became the first plant in the company to receive an ENERGY STAR certification – meeting strict energy performance levels set by the EPA.
And if that’s not enough proof, we also started production of the all-new Chevrolet Sonic and Buick Verano at our Orion Assembly Plant, using an energy efficient paint process that cuts energy usage in half by eliminating steam and the need for a primer oven.
We are thrilled with this recognition from the EPA. But we realize that now, more than ever, there is much more work to be done.
Through the hard work of our employees and their commitment to lessening our energy dependence, we hope to earn more recognition like this in the future.