70 GM Plants Meet Energy Star Challenge for Industry

November 6, 2014 By Karen Henry

GM-energy manageFourteen General Motors plants around the world have achieved the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star Challenge for Industry, collectively cutting energy intensity by an average of 17 percent.

To meet the challenge, industrial sites must reduce energy intensity by 10 percent in five years or fewer. All 14 sites achieved the goal in four years at most, with most meeting it in less than two years. By doing so, GM avoided $33 million in energy costs.

GM now has a combined total of 70 foundries and assembly plants that have met the challenge. The following facilities met the challenge for the first time:

  • Bupyeong 1 Assembly Plant (South Korea)
  • Bupyeong Engine 2 Plant (South Korea)
  • Dongyue Foundry (China)
  • Gravatai Assembly Plant (Brazil)
  • Qingdao Assembly Plant (China)
  • Bay City Powertrain (Michigan)
  • Warren Transmission Operations (Michigan)

They join the following repeat achievers:

  • Rayong Truck Assembly Plant (Thailand)
  • Jinqiao Powertrain (China)
  • Qingdao Engine Plant (China)
  • Norsom 2 Assembly Plant (China)
  • Bowling Green Assembly Plant (Kentucky)
  • Pontiac Stamping Plant (Michigan)
  • Silao Transmission Plant (Mexico)

Dongyue Foundry reduced energy intensity by 12.1 percent in the casting process by automating energy shutdown, making the most of hydraulic pumping and improving metal melting and pouring systems.

Qingdao Assembly and Dongyue join 10 other GM Energy Star achievers in China. Bupyeong’s two new achievers bring the company’s total to nine in South Korea.

Gravatai Assembly recently removed air dryers and now uses hot air from its compressors to remove moisture from the compressed air that supplies the plant—a switch that saves $130,000 per year.

Bay City Powertrain replaced or retrofitted 1,500 light fixtures with energy-efficient bulbs, many of which now have a motion sensor. The team also added weather stripping to prevent air leaks. Warren Transmission implemented an energy management system to schedule lighting, air conditioning and chilled water systems to be on only when needed.

Bowling Green Assembly and Pontiac Stamping are the first GM plants in the world to meet the challenge three times.

GM reported that 54 plants had met the Challenge in 2012, increasing that number to 63 plants in 2013.

Worldwide, GM is working toward a commitment to reduce energy from its facilities 20 percent by 2020. The company has received back-to-back Energy Star Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence awards.

Photo via Shutterstock.

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