General Motors Company (GM) is one of the largest and most recognized companies in the world, operating nearly 400 facilities on 6 continents. As a large multinational corporation with a strong brand, it is important for GM to be viewed as a leader and responsible company in the countries where it operates. Success in energy management is an important objective for the company which is dependent on the performance of its sites. To inspire and motivate its sites worldwide as well as demonstrate leadership in energy and greenhouse gas management, GM directed that all of its production facilities take the ENERGY STAR Challenge for Industry.
Because the ENERGY STAR brand is well recognized, the ENERGY STAR Challenge provided GM a recognition tool that resonated with people both inside and outside of the United States. Additionally, the recognition for achieving the ENERGY STAR Challenge is viewed as a highly credible since all savings are verified and approved by the US EPA.
In 2015, GM had the largest number of plants of any corporate participant taking the ENERGY STAR Challenge for Industry, with over 150 plants taking the Challenge across 30 different countries.
Seventy (70) GM plants have achieved ENERGY STAR® Challenge for Industry, and 67 plants have gone on to take the Challenge a second time.
The energy and greenhouse gas reductions from achieving the Challenge are helping GM fulfill its sustainability commitments. These plant-specific achievements are contributing to help the company meet its corporate goal to reduce energy intensity throughout its operations by 20 percent by 2020. Further, lower energy consumption translates to millions of dollars in cost savings that GM can reinvest in even more clean energy innovation, helping reduce its impact on climate change.
Achieving the ENERGY STAR Challenge for Industry has become a pride point for these facilities and has spurred much competition to earn the recognition. It is a constant motivator. Facilities from Thailand to South Africa to U.S. all rally around making smart operational changes and efficiency investments to reduce their environmental footprint and join the esteemed list of ENERGY STAR Challenge for Industry achievers. This also enables the GM corporate energy program to identify best practices from Achiever plants and share those with other facilities within the company.
General Motors promotes the importance of the ENERGY STAR Challenge through its executive leadership and plant management and also communicates externally to customers and potential customers around the world can relate to the benefits of energy conservation and what ENERGY STAR signifies. It has become a public demonstration of GM’s energy efficiency leadership. As GM CEO Mary Barra has stated, “People care about more than the cars. They care how we build them, and how we engage with the world around us.”
GM’s total efforts have reduced the company’s energy intensity by 11% from 2010 to 2014.