How Certified Plants Achieve Efficiency

America’s Most Energy-Efficient Manufacturing Plants

It take more than just projects to become a leader in energy efficiency. ENERGY STAR certified plants have achieved top performance in industrial efficiency by actively managing energy to continuously improve. Get started with ENERGY STAR to create or enhance energy management in your organization.

Below is just a small sample of specific efficiency activities these plants have implemented:

Operations and Maintenance

  • Nissan North America’s Canton, Miss., vehicle assembly plant formed a team to track compressed air leaks, leading to an annual reduction of approximately 1,700 cubic feet per minute of compressed air. The company’s Decherd, Tenn., powertrain assembly plant created scorecards to benchmark the shutdown performance of facilities, assigned countermeasures to shops not meeting targets, and provided recognition to top performers.

Heat Recovery/Combined Heat and Power

  • Astra Zeneca’s Newark, Del., pharmaceutical plant installed a heat recovery system that reduced natural gas usage by approximately 20% and a heat exchanger that provides free chilled water during winter months.
  • General Motors’ Fort Wayne, Ind., auto assembly plant recovered waste heat from the engine jackets and exhausts ducts of its landfill gas cogeneration units, reducing the plant’s winter natural gas consumption.
  • Primient’s Loudon, Tenn., and Lafayette, Ind., wet corn mills reduced their CO2e emissions by installing and optimizing combined heat and power systems.
  • Flowers Baking Co. of Henderson implemented a waste heat recovery project, to heat ingredient tanks, pipe jackets, proof boxes, hot ingredient water, and even the water that washes baskets used in the production process. Flowers Baking Company of Batesville also implemented waste heat recovery, among other energy efficiency projects.


  • Ash Grove's Seattle, Wash., cement plant automated the support equipment in their grinding mills to cease operation when the mills do.


  • General Motors’ Flint, Mich., assembly plant updated more than 90% of its lighting, installed LEDs with motion sensors to decrease light levels after a period of inactivity, and continued to focus on reducing energy during non-production periods.

Investments in Technology and Product Design

  • Titan America’s Troutville, Va., and Medley, Fla., cement plants have completely converted production to Portland Limestone (Type IL) cement, with up to 15% less embodied carbon than standard Portland Cement, while respectively achieving a 12% reduction in electricity use and 18% reduction in CO2 since 2015 from improved energy management.
  • Cemex’s Miami, Fla., cement plant increased its energy performance in 2022 by modifying a finish mill, optimizing the ball charge on the largest mill, and identifying and correcting potential energy losses while also increasing the production of Portland Limestone (Type IL) cement.
  • Lynchburg Organic Baking Co. installed advanced energy efficiency technologies during its upgrade to an all-organic bakery in 2020, including high-efficiency ovens, an energy-efficient air compressor, and a new HVAC system with variable frequency drives (VFDs), resulting in a 22% annual energy reduction.

Also watch this pre-recorded webinar series to get an inside look at how ENERGY STAR certified plants, the most energy-efficient manufacturing plants in the nation, have achieved top performance.

Webinar 1:  Cement and Glass

While there are no volcanoes in Arizona or New Jersey, the plants featured in this webinar need to reach temperatures as hot as lava to make their products. Learn how they stay efficient both on the thermal and electrical sides of their facilities. This webinar featured:

  • CalPortland’s Rillito, Arizona cement plant
  • Ardagh Glass’s Bridgeton, New Jersey container glass plant 

Watch webinar    Download slides

Webinar 2: Paper and Petroleum

Achieving top performance is more than just installing energy-efficient equipment. It involves actively managing operations and engaging staff. See how these two plants have made investments in equipment and energy management to reach top performance.

  • Georgia Pacific’s Brewton, Alabama containerboard mill 
  • Marathon Petroleum Corporation’s Robinson, Illinois Refinery 

Watch webinar    Download slides

Webinar 3: Cars and French Fries

Cars and French Fries are two of the most common products found in the U.S.  But did you know that Frozen Fried Potato Processing Plants are one the most energy intensive plant types within the food processing sector? Or that assembly plants are most energy intensive plant-type within the motor vehicle manufacturing sector?

Join this third webinar in the America’s Most Energy-Efficient Plants series to learn what makes these plants energy intensive and why energy efficiency is a key strategy for both cost savings and decarbonization.  This webinar will feature two ENERGY STAR certified plants from the food and automotive sectors are leading the pack in energy efficiency among their peers:

  • Lamb Weston’s Park Rapids, MN frozen fried potato processing plant
  • Nissan’s Smyrna, TN automobile assembly plant

Watch webinar   Download slides