GM Joins Better Buildings, Better Plants Challenge

General Motors announced it is joining the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings, Better Plants Challenge, pledging to reduce the energy intensity of its manufacturing plants and facilities by 25 percent in 10 years.

GM said the Better Plants Challenge is a component of the Better Buildings Challenge, a broader-based initiative that provides technical solutions to help companies improve energy efficiency. More than 120 companies have made long-term commitments to energy efficiency as part of the challenge and to report their progress once a year. The Better Plants Challenge is a more select group of manufacturers that make additional commitments to openly share their energy performance data and market-leading energy efficiency strategies.

“We have 31 U.S. plants participating in the Better Plants Challenge program that have already achieved 12 percent energy intensity reduction over a 2008 baseline, putting us more than halfway to our goal,” said Gary Londo, GM senior energy optimization engineer. “We’re committed to reducing energy use in our facilities, but sharing best practices is equally important to creating a lasting impact.”

The Better Buildings Challenge is a national leadership initiative launched by President Obama in 2011; the end goal is of making American commercial and industrial buildings more energy efficient in 10 years.

“By committing to cut energy use, Better Buildings, Better Plants Challenge partners are demonstrating how businesses and manufacturers are reducing our nation’s energy bill, creating American jobs, and protecting the environment,” said David Danielson, assistant secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at the DOE. “With commitments representing more than 600 plants and facilities, these partners are leading the way to a cleaner energy economy.”

In addition to working with the DOE on the Better Plants Challenge, GM said it has been recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency with an ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year-Sustained Excellence Award for superior energy management. The company also has 63 facilities meeting a voluntary ENERGY STAR Challenge for Industry – reducing energy intensity by 10 percent within five years.

GM added it also has committed to using 125 megawatts of renewable energy globally and has been recognized as a Solar Champion by the U.S. Solar Energy Industry Association for promoting a strong U.S. solar industry. GM also is a leader in the industrial sector for its use of landfill gas to offset energy use in several assembly plants.