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General Motors Joins Better Plants Challenge

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Better Plants ChallengeGeneral Motors recently announced its commitment to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Plants Challenge, an extension of the Better Buildings Challenge. As part of this challenge, the American automaker has pledged to reduce its manufacturing plants’ and facilities’ energy intensity by 25 percent over the next 10 years.

Currently, 120 companies have taken the Better Buildings Challenge, committing to energy efficiency and reporting on their progress once a year. The more elite Better Plants Challenge, however, involves a more select group of manufacturers making bigger commitments and sharing their performance data.

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“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,” commented 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.”

President Obama launched the Better Buildings Challenge back in 2011, hoping to make both commercial and industrial buildings here in the United States more energy efficient by 2021.

Better Plants Challenge - GM's Lansing Delta Township plant

GM’s Lansing Delta Township plant

“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.”

GM’s energy contributions go beyond partnering with the DOE. The EPA has also recognized the automaker with an ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year-Sustained Excellence Award. In addition, GM uses 125 megawatts of renewable energy across the globe and has even been recognized as a Solar Champion by the U.S. Solar Energy Industry Association. GM also uses landfill gas at several assembly plants to offset the use of other energy.

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Photos courtesy of General Motors