Building on President Obama’s Better Buildings Initiative and the Administration’s broader efforts to double energy productivity by 2030, the Department of Energy (DOE) has recognized Volvo Group North America for its leadership in energy efficiency at the New River Valley assembly plant near Roanoke, VA. As a Better Buildings, Better Plants partner, the Volvo Group has already achieved 16% savings across its U.S. plants and continues working toward its goal of becoming 25% more energy efficient within 10 years.
“Partners in the Better Buildings, Better Plants program, such as Volvo, are committing to real change – breaking through barriers to achieve greater energy efficiency and improving their bottom lines,” says Kathleen Hogan, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency. “The investments made by partners through the Better Plants program are helping to cut energy waste, to increase the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturers and protect the environment.”
Volvo Trucks’ New River Valley assembly plant is the company’s largest truck manufacturing plant in the world, covering more than 1.6 million square feet. At the Volvo Trucks plant, energy efficiency has become part of the facility’s core business practices, with an energy team member reviewing and approving every purchase made by the plant. Volvo also asked employees to suggest energy efficiency projects and has committed to reinvesting the savings from these projects – about $1.2 million to date – into future efficiency efforts.
In 2012, the New River Valley facility was one of the first facilities in the U.S. to be certified under the Energy Department’s Superior Energy Performance program for facilities. The Superior Energy Performance program helps facilities establish energy baselines and savings goals, and provides certifications when facilities achieve significant savings. New River Valley achieved a 26% improvement in energy efficiency in three years. As a partner in the Better Buildings Industrial Superior Energy Performance Accelerator, the Volvo Group is now implementing the Superior Energy Performance program at facilities nationwide.
"Our partnership with the Department of Energy through the Better Buildings, Better Plants program has provided us with a goal we can rally our entire organization around," says Lars Blomberg, Vice President and General Manager of Volvo’s New River Valley plant. "At the same time, the Superior Energy Performance program is driving results at the plant-level to help us meet our company-wide goals. We are fully engaged in these programs in support of our core value of environmental care and encourage our people to actively conserve energy for future generations.”
The Better Buildings, Better Plants Program is a national partnership initiative to drive significant improvements in energy efficiency across U.S. manufacturing plants. Through Better Plants, manufacturers partner with the DOE to reduce their energy intensity by 25% over 10 years, develop energy management plans, and track and report their annual progress. The department works with each partner to establish key energy performance metrics, evaluate energy-saving opportunities, and organize plant-level training events.