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General Motors Plant Receives Top Environmental Recognition by Ohio EPA
Ohio EPA Director Craig W. Butler today presented General Motors Toledo Transmission plant with the Agency’s highest award for environmental stewardship, the Encouraging Environmental Excellence (E3) program Gold-level Award.
“GM is a leader in environmental stewardship. GM’s efforts are conserving energy and water, improving Ohio’s air quality and, by making the plant more efficient, benefitting the company financially. Indeed, good environmental policy is good economic policy,” Director Butler said.
GM’s Toledo Transmission plant manufactures automatic transmissions for GM’s light duty trucks, sport utility vehicles, cross-over vehicles and cars. The plant has produced more than 67 million transmissions in its history.
The plant is a landfill-free facility and hosts Ohio’s largest rooftop solar array. It received a Silver-level E3 award from Ohio EPA in 2013 and continued to pursue projects and efficiencies that further reduced the 2.2 million square foot facility’s environmental footprint to earn the Gold-level award.
“This is our community and we believe in being good neighbors,” said Joe Choate, plant manager. “Our people go to work with a sustainability mindset, providing us with innovative ways to build transmissions with less environmental impact.”
The Toledo Transmission plant’s environmentally beneficial activities include:
- meeting U.S. EPA’s Energy Star Challenge for Industry in 2013 by reducing energy intensity by 27 percent in three years;
- using renewable landfill gas to power 19 percent of the facility’s energy needs and a 1.8Mw solar array to power 3 percent of its electricity and reduce carbon dioxide emissions;
- changing a machined parts cleaner solution to a cleaner that performed at room temperature, saving the water and energy needed to heat the previous cleaner;
- replacing metal halide and high pressure sodium lighting with energy efficient T8 fluorescent and LED lights;
- installing variable frequency drives to machining operations to save more than 1,000 megawatts of electricity and reduce coolant use;
- recycling, reusing or converting to energy waste from plant operations; and
- installing four bio-swales to filter and reduce storm water runoff to Silver Creek and creating an additional three acres of no-mow zones to help filter storm water.
Ohio EPA’s E3 program acknowledges Ohio businesses and other organizations for completing environmentally beneficial activities and serves as an incentive to commit to ongoing environmental stewardship. The program has three levels: Achievement, Silver and Gold. To earn a gold-level award, a business must have an excellent environmental compliance record, exceed regulatory compliance obligations and commit to long-term strategies to reduce waste, lower emissions and improve environmental performance. The award is open to business, industry, professional and trade organizations and government entities in Ohio.
Go online to learn more about the E3 program or contact the Ohio EPA Office of Compliance Assistance and Pollution Prevention at 1-800-329-7518.
More about GM’s environmental commitment is available online.
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency was created in 1972 to consolidate efforts to protect and improve air quality, water quality and waste management in Ohio. Since then, air pollutants dropped by as much as 90 percent; large rivers meeting standards improved from 21 percent to 89 percent; and hundreds of polluting, open dumps were replaced with engineered landfills and an increased emphasis on waste reduction and recycling.