Our goal to become carbon neutral in our operations will be achieved in part through an ambitious energy conservation and renewable energy program.
2021 Energy Star Certifications for Superior Energy Management
- IT Innovation Centers in Texas and Arizona
- Enterprise Data Centers (2) in Michigan
- Flint Assembly
- Fort Wayne Assembly
An important pillar in GM’s carbon reduction strategy for Scope 1 & 2 emissions is to focus on energy efficiency. Globally, our plants continue to work on improving energy efficiency and reducing GHG emissions through the use of an energy management system (EnMS). In addition to our Science-Based Target goal for GHG emissions, GM expanded our energy intensity goal for operations to 2035 with a 35% reduction from a 2010 baseline. Following are some of the programs and strategies that we deploy to conserve energy in our operations.
U.S. DOE 50001 Ready Program
In 2021, 27 GM U.S. manufacturing facilities, or 93% of our U.S. manufacturing footprint, implemented the U.S. DOE 50001 Ready program. GM has implemented 50001 Ready at 27 manufacturing and two nonmanufacturing facilities—more than any other participating company. In 2021, we expanded the program to two nonmanufacturing sites in the United States, two plants in Canada and one in Mexico. We plan to expand this program to all manufacturing facilities globally to continuously monitor and improve our EnMS.
Better Buildings Low Carbon Pilot
We are participating in the DOE Better Buildings program to demonstrate pathways to achieve low or zero carbon in the operation of buildings and manufacturing plants.
Energy Star’s Building Portfolio Manager (BPM)
GM uses data analytics to measure and track energy consumption globally. BPM is an example of a tool that allows us to benchmark performance and make continuous improvements.
GM Energy Strategy
Increasing Energy Efficiency
Reduce energy consumption at
Source through direct investments, green tariffs and power purchase agreements.
Mitigate against gaps in renewable energy for electricity transmission.
Work to drive down costs and increase renewable energy
for electricity opportunities.
Goal: Plan to source 100% renewable electricity at sites in the
United States by 2025 and globally by 2035.
GM was recognized by the Michigan Battle of the Buildings in 2021 for manufacturing resiliency in the face of rapidly changing dynamics during the pandemic.
In 2021, GM received recognition from Energy Star for Sustained Excellence in Energy Management for the 10th year, confirming our continuous improvement activities.
Energy Star Challenge for Industry
This continuous improvement program has recognized 69 GM plants multiple times over the past 10 years for a total of 130 recognitions. The Challenge is to reduce energy intensity by 10% within a five-year period. In 2021, five plants met the Challenge with an average 15% reduction over three years. The five plants were Qingdao Assembly, Baojun Assembly and Dongyue Engine, all in China, Silao Assembly in Mexico and Flint Assembly in the United States.
Energy Star certifications provide a benchmark system for energy efficiency, identifying buildings and auto assembly plants within the top 25th percentile of operating efficiency.
This tool (unrelated to GM’s OnStar service), is a continuous commissioning system that monitors the performance of our HVAC equipment in real time. Approximately one-third of our operational energy use is heating and cooling, and the system allows us to quickly identify when a unit is malfunctioning and easily find opportunities for improvement. The Energy OnStar tool helped us optimally manage plant shutdowns in 2021 during the semiconductor shortage.
Energy Star Treasure Hunts
Through this process, we can engage nearly 100 team members to uncover quick ways to save energy. In 2021, we conducted 17 on-site and virtual energy treasure hunts, covering 61 million square feet of space, and found 175 opportunities that could potentially save the company $5 million. We also extended this approach to our suppliers during the year, including rolling out a Virtual Energy Treasure Hunt process. Learn more in Supporting Supplier Responsibility.
A More Energy-Efficient Plant
One of our energy efficiency projects in 2021 was at Fort Wayne Assembly, where we manufacture the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra full-size trucks. The 35-year-old plant generated steam with large natural gas boilers to heat the building and manufacturing processes. The Powerhouse also generates six megawatts of renewable electricity from landfill gas, a renewable fuel that would normally be flared, which we instead use to generate renewable electricity as part of our RE-100 target. The remainder of the plant’s electric loads are served by wind and solar and are 100% powered by renewable energy. The project will eliminate steam, an inefficient heating method, by using the waste heat from the landfill gas engines to supply most of the building heat and converting other steam loads to direct or indirect natural gas. Additional energy conservation measures include the installation of ultraviolet lamps in air handling units, lighting and dock heater controls.