Nissan’s Green Program 2016 focuses on reducing environmental impacts at its global locations, including energy management activities in Latin America.
In Mexico, Nissan has expanded a green energy program so that 50 percent of the energy used by the Aguascalientes Vehicle Assembly Plant comes from renewable sources including wind power and landfill gas. For more than a year, the plant has used a wind farm in southern Mexico and methane from garbage at the city dump, which combined have cut the plant’s utility costs by more than 10 percent.
Nissan’s program leverages Mexico’s largest wind farm, which consists of 35 large wind turbines about 600 miles away. The wind replaces about 5.3 million gallons of fuel oil. Nissan also currently gets about 5 percent of its power from generators that run on methane from a local landfill with aims to almost double that. The biogas that is produced from the breakdown of organic matter is used as fuel. One of the limiting factors is the availability of trash. The company says if it had access to more trash in the vicinity, it would use it.
The plant is looking at other renewable sources as well to balance the mix of sources required to offset variables with renewable energy that can’t be controlled such as the wind. The green energy program will be extended to the Cuernavaca Vehicle Assembly Plant and to the new Aguascalientes 2 assembly plant scheduled to open later this year.
In Brazil, Nissan anticipates opening its new Resende manufacturing plant in the first half of 2014. The Resende plant, which will build Nissan March and Versa, will have one of the lowest rates of CO2 emissions in the world among automotive companies. This feat will be accomplished in part by sourcing raw material near the plant, which reduces CO2 emissions in transport. Use of state-of-the-art equipment and production technologies including the most modern robots will provide greater energy efficiency. The plant’s design also allows for natural light to reduce energy use.