Toyota cuts energy intensity 5% - Smart Energy Decisions

Energy Efficiency, Industrial  -  August 8, 2016 - By Amy Poszywak

Toyota North America cuts energy intensity 5%

Exclusive to Smart Energy Decisions 

This story is the 11th in a series of original features exploring the successes of a selection of corporations recognized by the U.S. EPA's Energy Star program for achievements in energy efficiency. Each company we've talked with for this series, made possible through our partnership with Energy Star, has a unique story about their efforts to reduce electric use across their organization. Taken in aggregate, we hope the series provides readers with a useful glimpse into the kinds of strategies being implemented across the commercial and industrial sectors as well as a deeper understanding of vetted, real-life tactics for cutting consumption.

The energy management team at Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America Inc. has been focused on driving efficiency throughout its 14 manufacturing plants for many years.

Having saved its parent company, Toyota Motor Corp., millions of dollars in energy costs, the group earned recognition earlier in 2016 for its twelfth-consecutive partner of the year award from Energy Star. Among its 2015 accomplishments, the company says it is most proud of its ability to record a 5% reduction in energy intensity from 2014 while increasing production.  That reduction contributes to the more than $640 million in cost savings the team has achieved since 2002.

"The Toyota energy management program has been in place for many years and continues to show reductions," Kevin Bell, assistant manager of plant and production engineering for Toyota Motor & Manufacturing North America recently told Smart Energy Decisions. "The fact that we are able to continue reducing energy use while producing more vehicles each year is proof that our energy program is working." 

The energy management team says the results it has seen are credited to a number of different practices, including Kaizen implementation; sharing opportunities between plants; using treasure hunts to find new ways to reduce energy; benchmarking with other auto manufacturers in the Energy Star network; and having leadership support for its program.

Toward that last piece, the energy management group believes energy use reductions and initiatives have become much more visible to senior leadership over the years, at least partially attributable to the recognition from Energy Star. That visibility has provided momentum toward Toyota's commitment to reducing its carbon emissions.

In October 2015, for example, Toyota's corporate office announced the Toyota Environmental Challenge 2050, under which each of its divisions is striving to transform all of their manufacturing plants to become zero CO2 facilities by 2050. Toyota North America's energy program expects to be integral to the success of this target, the team said. 

"There are always opportunities for energy reduction at our plants from innovation and new technology but the most important element of our energy program is the Kaizen mindset from our team members," Bell said. 


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