WASHINGTON – As part of the Obama Administration’s efforts to double our nation’s energy productivity by 2030, the Energy Department today recognized aluminum manufacturer Alcoa and steel manufacturer ArcelorMittal for leadership in the Better Buildings, Better Plants Program. As a part of the Better Plants Challenge, Alcoa has demonstrated leadership by setting an ambitious goal to reduce the energy intensity of 29 of its plants by 25 percent by 2020 and sharing strategies and best practices to help other U.S. companies improve their energy efficiency. Additionally, in August, ArcelorMittal joined the broader Better Plants Program – committing to reducing its energy intensity by 10 percent across 17 plants.
“Partners in the Better Plants Challenge are leading by example, showing firsthand how energy efficiency improvements can help manufacturers improve their bottom lines, cut energy waste and pollution and stay competitive in global markets,” said Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy David Danielson. “The investments they have made through the Better Plants Challenge are helping to cut energy waste, while saving millions in energy costs and helping position the United States to lead in the global economy.”
Today, Assistant Secretary Danielson joined officials from Alcoa to tour the company’s Cleveland facility and its recent energy efficiency improvements.
“As part of the Better Plants Challenge, Alcoa set a goal in 2011 to reduce the energy intensity of 29 of our plants by 25 percent by 2020 and we’re already nearly halfway there, having improved our energy performance by about 12 percent,” said Kevin McKnight, Chief Sustainability Officer and Vice President of EHS at Alcoa. “Our partnership with DOE complements our existing sustainability work and provides additional tools to continue to increase our energy savings.”
As part of the Better Plants Program, Alcoa and ArcelorMittal are co-hosting an energy efficiency training program at their Cleveland plants this week for staff at both companies. Sponsored by the Energy Department, this hands-on technical training will further help plant staff identify new opportunities that reduce energy use and save money.
"ArcelorMittal USA is excited to be a partner in the Better Plants Program," said Larry Fabina, ArcelorMittal USA energy champion. "Energy is one of the most expensive factors in the steelmaking process. Therefore, we look forward to working with DOE and the other partner companies to accelerate our energy management efforts, further reducing greenhouse gas emissions, protecting the environment and improving the sustainability of our operations."
Across the United States, more than $200 billion is spent to power commercial buildings, while another $200 billion is spent to power U.S. manufacturing facilities. In 2011, President Obama launched the Better Buildings Challenge to catalyze revolutionary change in energy use and achieve record-breaking energy bill savings.
Through the Better Buildings, Better Plants Challenge – the industrial component of this initiative – the Energy Department has partnered with 13 leading industrial building owners to help cut energy waste and save money through a range of energy efficiency measures, such as whole facility energy system improvements, compressed air updates, sub-metering initiatives and energy efficient facility construction. Participating organizations receive technical assistance from the Department and share best practices on industrial energy efficiency with other Challenge partners. Through the broader Better Plants Program, the Energy Department is partnering with over 120 manufacturers that represent more than 1,750 plants across the United States and about 8 percent of the total U.S. manufacturing energy footprint to support smart investments that save energy costs and cut greenhouse gas emissions.
Find more information about the Better Buildings Challenge participants, including Alcoa and their energy efficiency projects at www.energy.gov/betterbuildingschallenge.