U.S. DOE commends Kenworth's Renton plant

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has recognized Kenworth Truck Company’s manufacturing plant in Renton, Wash., for its outstanding energy efficiency accomplishments.

As one of the initial participants in the DOE’s Save Energy Now LEADER program launched in 2009, the Kenworth-Renton plant voluntarily committed to a 25 percent reduction in energy intensity over 10 years. The DOE commended Kenworth-Renton for its 7.3 percent annual energy intensity reduction in 2010, and cumulative total of a 35.6 percent improvement since the program’s inception compared to the 2008 baseline year. 

“Kenworth is honored to receive this special recognition from the U.S. Department of Energy,” said Marilyn Santangelo, Kenworth assistant general manager for operations. “Kenworth’s Renton plant is committed to achieving and maintaining a high standard of environmental stewardship through efficient energy management and resource conservation.”

“We place special importance on our environmental efforts, and this long-term energy efficiency project is contributing to enhanced best practices in the plant’s operations,” noted Mike Clark, Kenworth-Renton plant manager.  

To achieve the results, Kenworth-Renton had a number of initiatives. “For example, we introduced technology that closely monitors the plant’s energy usage and quickly pinpoints any unusual energy spikes so that they can be addressed promptly,” said Clark. “This technology also enables us to decrease energy consumption by more effectively managing the plant’s average temperature while maintaining employee comfort. We also reduced electricity usage by implementing more efficient lighting throughout the plant.”

During the on-going project, Kenworth is also working with Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) to help provide input toward development of an international energy management standard for manufacturing plants. NEEA is a private non-profit organization funded by Northwest utilities, the Energy Trust of Oregon and the Bonneville Power Administration.

Kenworth Truck Company, with significant contributions from Kenworth-Renton, has received other accolades for its environmental programs. Kenworth was honored as one of the Top 50 Green companies in Washington State by Seattle Business magazine in 2011, and received the 2010 Green Manufacturing Award in the large company category from the Association of Washington Business.

Kenworth-Renton earned a 2011 Best Workplace for Recycling and Waste Reduction Award from King County’s Solid Waste Division for outstanding efforts to reduce, reuse and recycle. This past spring, Kenworth-Renton also received a 2010 Gold Award from the King County Industrial Waste Program for compliance with the plant’s industrial wastewater discharge permit. The plant has now received the Gold Award for 12 consecutive years.

Kenworth-Renton, the Kenworth plant in Chillicothe, Ohio, and the PACCAR manufacturing facility in Ste. Therese, Que., all have earned the prestigious ISO (International Standards Organization) 14001:2004 certification for effective environmental management systems established to help build trucks in an environmentally sustainable manner.

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