GM's Toledo plant saves $3M, meets EPA energy-reduction challenge

TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) - General Motors' Toledo Transmission Plant is one of 54 facilities to meet a voluntary energy-reduction challenge set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The facility cut its energy intensity by 32 percent in less than one year to meet the EPA's ENERGY STAR Challenge for Industry.

To meet the ENERGY STAR Challenge for Industry, facilities needed to reduce energy intensity by 10 percent within five years. Toledo's reduction avoided 38,425 metric tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere, the equivalent of electricity use by 4,342 U.S. homes annually.

"Our employees are committed to helping increase our global operations' energy efficiency," said Mike Robinson, GM vice president of sustainability and global regulatory affairs. "They remain at the core of our progress."

GM's Toledo Transmission Plant saved more than $3 million in energy costs annually through its efforts. GM leads all companies worldwide in meeting the challenge. Total companywide savings in energy costs total $90M.

To achieve the challenge, employees at Toledo used energy-saving tactics, such as replacing high-intensity light fixtures with fluorescent fixtures and adding energy-efficient equipment throughout several hallways, locker rooms and the fitness center.

"The employees who make up the population of the Toledo Transmission facility understand the commitment it takes to be as energy efficient as possible in our day-to-day operations," said Tom Mock, plant communications manager. "Through a diligent environmental process, we have instilled a sense of responsibility to the environment that goes beyond our location in Ohio."

In March of 2011, GM received an ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year award for energy management.  Between 2005 and 2010, it reduced energy use in its global facilities by 28 percent. GM has since set a new goal to reduce energy intensity 20 percent globally by 2020.

Toledo Transmission strives to further reduce its environmental footprint through additional efforts.

Examples include:

  • Maintaining a landfill-free facility. Over 99 percent of all waste routinely generated is either recycled or directed to a waste-to-energy program.
  • Enhancing wildlife habitat for pollinators through its Wildlife at Work program, which was recently recertified by the Wildlife Habitat Council for another three years.
  • Providing environmental educational opportunities for local elementary school students using Earth Force Project GREEN, in conjunction with the Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Government's Student Watershed Watch Program.
  • Installation of a rooftop solar array.

For more information on GM's environmental commitment, visit its sustainability report and environmental blog.

Copyright 2012 Toledo News Now. All rights reserved.