General Motors, over the years has taken big steps to reducing its carbon footprint. And these steps have also been applied to GM Indiaâ€™s Talegaon manufacturing plant as well. The Talegaon plant is one of 54 GM facilities worldwide which meets a voluntary energy-reduction challenge set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This has led to a 12 percent cut in its energy intensity in less than two years; meeting the EPAâ€™s ENERGY STARÂ® Challenge for Industry Award.
So what exactly is ENERGY STAR? It was introduced by EPA (U.S Environmental Protection Agency) in 1992 as a voluntary partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the efficient use of energy. ENERGY STARâ€™s label is now found on over 60 products as well as new homes and commercial and industrial buildings that meet strict energy-efficiency specifications set by the EPA.
To meet the ENERGY STAR Challenge for Industry Award isnâ€™t an easy task and GM has been working hard to cover the requirements. The facilities are needed to reduce their energy intensity by 10 percent within a five years period. This stipulation led to the Talegaon manufacturing plant releasing 4,419 tons less of CO2 into the atmosphere.
GMâ€™s Vice President of Sustainability and Global Regulatory Affairs, Mr. Mike Robinson said, â€œOur employees are committed to helping increase our global operationsâ€™ energy efficiency.â€ He went on to state, â€œThey remain at the core of our progressâ€¦ The total amount of energy savings across all GM manufacturing plants is $90 million and most of the plants are located in the U.S. and Asian countries.â€
Mr. Lowell Paddock, President & Managing Director, General Motors India explained saying â€œTo achieve the Challenge for Industry Award, our Â manufacturing plant used various innovative energy-saving strategies like adoption of Â energy efficient designs & Â technologies, optimization of Â process parameters, usage of Â reliable process controls and lighting systems among other energy saving methods to reduce energy consumption. Through a diligent environmental process, we have instilled a sense of responsibility to the environment that goes beyond our location in India.â€ Â Going by what Mr. Paddock had to say, GM Indiaâ€™s Talegaon plant aims to further reduce its emissions by implementing heating and cooling guidelines, efficient operation of heating equipment and reducing or shutting down energy use during the period the plant is not in production mode.
GM has already received an ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year award the previous year for its energy management. Â From 2005-10, it managed to reduce energy use in all its global facilities by 28 percent and has since set a new itself a new goal to reduce 20 per cent energy intensity globally by 2020. Not surprisingly, General Motors India received the third prize for Energy Conservation at the National Energy Conservation Awards 2010. In 2011, GM Indiaâ€™s Talegaon manufacturing plant got two more awards in State Level competition for Excellence in Energy Conservation and Management in the Automobile Manufacturing Sector.