Efficient GM plant receives EPA Energy Star certification

General Motors’ Lansing Delta Township Assembly Plant is the company’s first in United States to receive an ENERGY STAR certification for superior energy efficiency from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

To qualify, the plant had to perform in the top 25 percent of similar facilities nationwide for energy efficiency and meet strict energy performance levels set by the EPA from 2010 to 2011.

The facility, which builds the Buick Enclave, GMC Acadia and Chevrolet Traverse, also showcased safe lighting levels that meet the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America’s recommended best practices, such as ensuring adequate lighting to perform certain tasks.

"Certifications like this demonstrate our commitment to improving energy efficiency practices beyond our vehicles," said Mike Robinson, GM vice president for Sustainability and Global Regulatory Affairs.

To achieve this designation, GM:

  • Designed the plant to meet LEED Gold standard for energy efficiency in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning without using steam.
  • Integrates energy management into monthly performance scorecards.
  • Uses efficient lighting and daylight harvesting to conserve energy.
  • Monitors hourly energy use and plant controls to keep non-production energy to a minimum.
  • Engages employees to think green through an energy quality suggestion program.

"Every day we stress the importance of building vehicles with the environment in mind," said Scott Whybrew, Lansing regional plant manager. "The collaborative work by our employees to save energy and improve the efficiency of our plant is the key to achieving Energy Star Certification."

LDT is GM’s newest plant in the United States, blending best manufacturing and environmental protection practices and the latest technology into one facility. It was the largest and most complex manufacturing site to receive any level of LEED certification when it opened in 2006.

In addition to energy conservation, LDT has implemented other sustainable practices. For example, rainwater is collected from the roof and is used instead of potable water to flush toilets. Waterless urinals save more than 1 million gallons of water annually. And 75 acres have been set aside to preserve existing plants and wildlife habitat.

"This facility was designed to blend in with the environment, rather than stand out," said Whybrew. "This designation by the EPA only helps to further that notion."

The EPA helps auto manufacturers overcome barriers to using energy efficiently and provides energy management resources unique to the industry.

"Improving the energy efficiency of our nation’s industrial facilities is critical to protecting our environment, " said Jean Lupinacci, chief of the ENERGY STAR Commercial & Industrial Branch. "From the plant floor to the board room, organizations are leading the way by making their facilities more efficient and earning EPA’s ENERGY STAR certification."