General Motors has been recognized by the U.S. EPA as a 2015 Energy Star Partner of the Year.

The Detroit-based company has received this award for Sustained Excellence for leadership in protecting the environment through superior energy efficiency.

At the same time, GM also received the Energy Star Climate Communications award.

SEE ALSO: 2016 Malibu Hybrid Promises 47 MPG

The EPA describes the Energy Star Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence award as the highest recognition a corporation can receive from the EPA.

This year’s award marks GM’s fourth such award for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by setting and achieving aggressive goals and employing innovative energy-efficiency approaches.

“Achieving operational excellence in all we do extends to reducing the environmental impact of how we build our vehicles,” said Greg Martin, GM executive director for sustainability. “We are leveraging our scale to conserve energy and resources throughout the manufacturing process.”

GM joined Energy Star in 1995.

The company said it has since reduced energy intensity of its U.S. operations, or the amount of energy used per vehicle produced, by 40 percent. It has reduced carbon dioxide emission intensity 41 percent. Combined, these savings are said to be the equivalent to the electricity used by 875,000 homes in one year and allowed GM to avoid $435 million in energy costs.

In handing out the award, the EPA cited these GM achievements in 2014:

  • Reduced energy intensity by 6 percent globally
  • Expanded Energy OnStar to GM powertrain facilities. Energy OnStar is the company’s system tracking 2.5 million energy data points per minute and providing real-time monitoring of energy per unit produced and facility heating and cooling systems
  • Invested $34 million in more than 30 facilities for energy efficiency, water and carbon reduction projects, each with a return on investment of less than two years
  • Collaborated with utility companies on energy projects and funding
  • Eliminated the use of coal at Wentzville, Mo., and Detroit-Hamtramck, Mich., assembly plants.
  • Remained the global leader of the Energy Star Challenge for Industry with 70 GM facility achievers, resulting in $196 million in energy costs avoided and 1.8 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions reduced, equivalent to adding 378,947 passenger vehicles without a greenhouse gas impact.

In awarding the Energy Star Partner of the Year – Climate Communications, the EPA said GM was receiving this for its commitment to educating employees, customers and other stakeholders about the importance of energy efficiency and the impacts of climate change.