NASHVILLE, Tenn., April 7, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Air is free, right? Tell that to the Nissan Energy Management Team who combed through countless miles of tubing in the compressed air system in U.S. manufacturing facilities and repaired enough leaks to save 11,300 megawatt hours of energy last year. "We saved enough energy to power more than 700 homes for a year, offset the greenhouse gas emissions of nearly 2,800 tons of landfill waste or better yet, to drive the all-electric Nissan LEAF around the earth more than 40,000 times," said John Martin, Nissan's senior vice president, Manufacturing, Supply Chain Management and Purchasing.
A common industrial challenge, the Nissan team estimated that more than 20 percent of compressed air used in manufacturing operations was wasted through air leaks at Nissan's manufacturing facilities in Smyrna and Decherd, Tenn., and Canton, Miss. "Thanks to the hard work by our Energy Management Team, we have implemented energy-reduction projects, like the air leak detection program, that helped us earn the prestigious U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 2014 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence Award for the third consecutive year," Martin said.
The team even learned how to catch a ray of sunlight to use it for lighting in the Nissan Decherd Powertrain Assembly Plant. This daylight harvesting technique—along with new skylights—allows for more optimal lighting inside the plant while using substantially less energy.
The Energy Management team also identified inefficiencies in Nissan's former paint plant at its vehicle assembly facility in Smyrna, which led to the installation of the company's most advanced paint plant in the world in early 2013. By using an innovative three-wet paint process that applies all three paint layers in succession before the vehicle goes into the oven, the new paint plant uses 30 percent less energy during the paint process.
Nissan's energy savings strategies don't stop at its own doorstep—it extends lessons learned within its operations to the community by helping others achieve their energy-savings goals. In fact, the team at the Nissan Canton Vehicle Assembly Plant helped 14 Mississippi schools obtain ENERGY STAR certification for their buildings, which led to a cost savings equal to 10 teachers' salaries.
Nissan also hosted 10 organizations including other ENERGY STAR partners, suppliers and local government officials at its Decherd, Tenn., facility where leaders shared best practices for energy management. Through those discussions, participants identified energy savings ideas that could potentially save up to $1.5 million in energy costs.
"With major manufacturing operations in the Southeast and multiple R&D, design, testing and distribution facilities across the country, we recognize the importance of being environmental stewards within the community," said Martin. "It's more than just a sustainability strategy; it makes good business sense for Nissan—now and for the road ahead."
EPA's highest ENERGY STAR awards—the 2014 Partner of the Year - Sustained Excellence Awards—are given to organizations to recognize their unwavering commitment to becoming increasingly more energy efficient. Award winners are selected from the 16,000 organizations that participate in the ENERGY STAR program. Nissan's work with ENERGY STAR aligns with the company's sustainability strategy, the Nissan Green Program, and its efforts to reduce its carbon footprint by 20 percent by 2016. Nissan's accomplishments will be recognized at an event in Washington, D.C., on April 29.
About Nissan North America
In North America, Nissan's operations include automotive styling, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing. Nissan is dedicated to improving the environment under the Nissan Green Program and has been recognized as an ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency. More information on Nissan in North America and the complete line of Nissan and Infiniti vehicles can be found online at www.NissanUSA.com and www.InfinitiUSA.com, or visit the Americas media sites NissanNews.com and InfinitiNews.com.
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Japan's second-largest automotive company, is headquartered in Yokohama, Japan, and is part of the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Operating with more than 236,000 employees globally, Nissan sold more than 4.9 million vehicles and generated revenue of 9.6 trillion yen (USD 116.16 billion) in fiscal 2012. Nissan delivers a comprehensive range of over 60 models under the Nissan and Infiniti brands. In 2010, Nissan introduced the Nissan LEAF, and continues to lead in zero-emission mobility. The LEAF, the first mass-market, pure-electric vehicle launched globally, is now the best-selling EV in history.
For more information on our products, services and commitment to sustainable mobility, visit our website at http://www.nissan-global.com/EN/.
About ENERGY STAR
ENERGY STAR was introduced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 1992 as a voluntary market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through increased energy efficiency. Today, ENERGY STAR offers businesses and consumers energy-efficient solutions to save energy, money, and help protect the environment for future generations. 16,000 organizations are ENERGY STAR partners committed to improving the energy efficiency of products, homes, and buildings. For more information about ENERGY STAR, visit www.energystar.gov or call toll-free 1-888-STAR-YES (1-888-782-7937).
SOURCE Nissan North America