L’Oréal USA temporarily swapped energy management teams with General Motors earlier this month as part of the Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge SWAP program, which looks at ways in which companies can save energy.
Erin Lawrence, an associate energy engineer for GM, and Brian Wilger, an environmental engineer for GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck plant, explored the L’Oréal factory in Little Rock, Arkansas while a team from L’Oréal came up to Detroit-Hamtramck.
As a result of their day at the cosmetics giant’s factory, Lawrence and Wilger are evaluating a few tweaks at Detroit-Hamtramck — GM’s 4 million-square-foot facility that produces the Chevrolet Volt and Impala, the Cadillac CT6 and the Buick Lacrosse — including switching to more energy-efficient LED lights in some areas and turning off compressed air to machines when they aren’t in use, according to detroitnews.com.
The swaps, which aim to find ways to improve productivity, were filmed and replayed as webisodes on the Department of Energy’s YouTube channel. The two management teams were documented in a fly-on-the-wall style film as they sought ways to increase energy efficiency in the manufacturing processes.
Stewards of Efficiency
Both L’Oréal and GM have long been proponents of energy efficiency. In 2016, L’Oréal USA announced it was launching solar projects at its manufacturing facilities in Kentucky and Arkansas. The project is part of L’Oréal Group’s goal of reducing emissions by 60% from its 2005 baseline.
And just this month, GM announced it has invested in long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs) with Enel’s new wind farm, which is under construction in Illinois. Enel, through its US renewable company Enel Green Power North America, Inc. (EGPNA), started construction of the 185 MW HillTopper, its first wind farm in the US state of Illinois. GM will purchase power generated from a 100 MW portion of HillTopper. The wind energy will provide 100 percent renewable electricity to all of General Motor’s Ohio and Indiana manufacturing facilities.
Getting It Done: Vendors Mentioned Above
The 3rd Annual Environmental Leader & Energy Manager Conference takes place May 15 – 17, 2018 in Denver. Learn more here.