Around the world, we are committed to realizing energy efficiencies and minimizing our carbon footprint. We are proud of the past accomplishments in our facilities, but made a commitment for continued reductions through 2020. In 2011, we reduced CO2 emissions by five percent from 2010.
This progress has been achieved by a combination of best practices and capital investment, including automated shutdown of equipment when not in use, installation of energy-efficient lighting, consumption tracking and analysis through our energy management systems, and upgrades to more efficient heating and cooling systems. In 2011, investments in energy-efficient building services yielded $11.6 million in annual savings, while process improvements yielded an additional $7.9 million.
The EPA has recognized our commitment to energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emission reduction by naming GM its 2012 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year in the motor vehicle category. The recognition was based on several initiatives, including an energy management dashboard system that monitors 2.5 million pieces of energy data per minute and that led to savings of more than $3 million in 2011; a $12 million investment in energy cost-saving projects; and $2 million in savings from powering four facilities with landfill gas.
Many of these initiatives were centered on a 2011 goal of achieving the EPA's ENERGY STAR Challenge for Industry in 2011. To do so, 30 of our North American plants had to reduce their energy intensity by an average of 25 percent — equivalent to the emissions from powering 97,000 U.S. homes. The effort also saved GM $50 million in energy costs. Collectively, the manufacturing facilities avoided more than 778,830 metric tons of greenhouse gas. It would require the planting of 20 million trees that grow for 10 years to mitigate the same amount.
To achieve the challenge, GM's EMS was central to driving continuous improvement, implementing best practices, benchmarking energy use and making smart investments in energy-efficient lighting and more efficient heating and cooling systems.
"EPA congratulates GM for achieving these important energy-efficiency improvements. Energy efficiency can deliver significant financial and environmental benefits, and we look forward to GM's continued leadership and partnership with ENERGY STAR."
Chief of the ENERGY STAR Commercial and Industrial Program
GM's 30 plants represent nearly 30 percent of all sites that have achieved the ENERGY STAR Challenge for Industry. According to the EPA, 86 of the 386 manufacturing sites that have taken the challenge have met the goal to date, improving their energy efficiency by 10 percent or more.
In addition to meeting the ENERGY STAR Challenge, in December 2011, our Lansing Delta Township facility became the first plant in the company to receive an ENERGY STAR certification by meeting strict energy performance levels set by the EPA. 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. Our Lansing Customer Care and Aftersales parts distribution center also earned ENERGY STAR certification in June 2012.
2020 Commitment: Reduce energy intensity from facilities by 20 percent.*
2020 Commitment: Reduce carbon intensity from facilities by 20 percent.*