Celebrating ENERGY STAR Day and Our 20-Year Partnership with ENERGY STAR

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Celebrating ENERGY STAR Day and Our 20-Year Partnership with ENERGY STAR

Automotive plants can be big consumers of energy. Thanks to its 20-year partnership with EPA ENERGY STAR®, General Motors has found a number of ways to reduce the energy intensity of its facilities.
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Today @GM is celebrating #ENERGYSTARDay and reflecting on its 20-year partnership with @ENERGYSTAR http://bit.ly/1MgHesP
Tuesday, October 27, 2015 - 2:30pm

CAMPAIGN: GM Energy Efficiency


In honor of ENERGY STAR Day, we’re looking back on our 20-year partnership with the U.S. EPA’s energy efficiency program.

With ENERGY STAR’s help, we’ve saved $435 million in energy costs in our facilities, and reduced the energy intensity and carbon emissions of these facilities by 40 and 41 percent, respectively.

Here are a few of our biggest milestones from the past two decades of partnership.


  • ENERGY STAR launches its certification program for commercial and industrial buildings and our partnership begins. Just three years after the program’s launch, the ENERGY STAR logo has already become a powerful symbol among consumers, synonymous with a product that is the most efficient of its kind. So for us, joining the program was an obvious choice. We hoped to leverage this emotional appeal consumers had for the ENERGY STAR brand to highlight the great work our plants were doing to reduce their energy footprint.


  • We officially integrate energy into our business plan, developing daily processes and allocating a dedicated budget for energy efficiency improvements across our facilities in the U.S. and Canada. Top leadership understands the business value of energy reduction and we increase funding for energy management projects as a result. Investing in energy efficiency benefits our bottom line.


  • We join ENERGY STAR’s newly formed Motor Vehicle Manufacturing focus group. The group is a partnership among automakers that share best practices and insights in order to improve energy efficiency across the entire manufacturing sector. We remain active in the program and continue to benefit from networking with other energy managers from our industry today.

We often collaborate with our competitors – it’s an important and necessary step to driving industry-wide change. But as you might expect, there’s always a sense of reluctance when you ask companies to share their best practices with direct competitors. As a neutral party, ENERGY STAR helps alleviate those concerns. They also provide a valuable outside perspective that may otherwise be overlooked from our focus group members looking through a purely automotive-manufacturing lens.


  • We earn our first award from ENERGY STAR for Excellence in Energy Management in recognition of efforts to include environmental issues into our everyday business decisions.


  • Because of continued progress, GM earns the ENERGY STAR Award for Sustained Excellence in Energy Management.


  • We host our first formal “energy treasure hunts” at GM facilities in Asia and Europe to engage employees in identifying energy savings opportunities. Though we had already developed and organized several activities for our energy managers in past years, we continue to refine and improve our energy treasure hunts by incorporating best practices and resources from ENERGY STAR’s Energy Treasure Hunt Guide. We now use energy treasure hunts as an educational tool for graduate students as a part of the EDF Climate Corps summer fellowship program we support.


  • By 2010, we implemented our Energy OnStar management system to track energy data in our plants. The system provides real-time monitoring of energy per unit produced and continuous commissioning of facility heating and cooling systems, allowing for real-time analysis and adjustments. 


  • We engage enter all of our facilities in the ENERGY STAR Challenge for Industry, and 30 U.S. facilities meet the challenge by reducing energy intensity by at least 10 percent in five years or less. These 30 facilities cut energy intensity by an average of 25 percent – equivalent to the emissions from powering nearly 100,000 U.S. homes.
  • Our Lansing Delta Township Assembly plant becomes the first GM facility to earnENERGY STAR Certification and the right to hang that iconic ENERGY STAR logo on its building. The plant uses efficient lighting, monitors hourly energy use and engages employees to think green.


  • ENERGY STAR names GM a Partner of the Year for energy management, citing our commitment to energy efficiency, reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and $15 million savings in annual energy costs.
  • Our Lansing Customer Care and Aftersales parts distribution center becomes GM’s second U.S. facility to earn ENERGY STAR Certification, generating 35 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions and 35 percent less energy than similar buildings nationwide.


  • We earn the highest recognition a corporation can receive from the U.S. EPA – ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence for energy management.
  • Three GM facilities meet ENERGY STAR’s Battle of the Buildings for their 2012 performance. This program provides a platform for companies to save not only energy, but water and money, too. Together, the three buildings cut energy use by more than 20,000 metric tons of CO2.


  • For the second consecutive year, we receive the ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence award for energy management. ENERGY STAR also recognizes us as a Partner of the Year for climate communications for efforts to create awareness among our employees, customers and other stakeholders about the importance of energy efficiency and the impacts of climate change.


  • Déjà vu: GM is named 2015 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year for Sustained Excellence in Energy Management and Partner of the Year for Climate Communications for the third and second years in row, respectively.
  • We host an energy boot camp with other automakers, suppliers and ENERGY STAR at our Warren Technical Center, home to our LEED Gold-certified data center and global energy management team. ENERGY STAR suggested the format based on a similar event organized by partners from its Small Business Network.
  • To celebrate National Energy Action Month, we launch “Bring Your Green to GM,” an employee energy awareness campaign that incorporates many of the ideas outlined in ENERGY STAR’s Bring Your Green to Work checklist.

We have come a long way in the 20 years we’ve worked with ENERGY STAR and have benefitted greatly from the partnership. We look forward to the next 20 years of our partnership with ENERGY STAR and continuing to drive energy efficiency improvement across our organization and the industry at large.

Keywords: #ENERGYSTARday | Energy | Awards & Recognition | Business & Trade | Challenge for Industry | EDF Climate Corps | Energy Star | GM | General Motors | LEED | Motor Vehicle Manufacturing

CAMPAIGN: GM Energy Efficiency