Energy Efficiency Leader to Receive Recognition
Valley Forge, Pa. – When it comes to manufacturing and distributing building materials, Saint-Gobain has a reputation of being the world leader. Later today, the company will be recognized by the EPA as being the leader in reducing carbon footprint and protecting the environment.
A participant in the EPA’s ENERGY-STAR program since 2005, Saint-Gobain will collect the award of ENERGY-STAR Partner of the Year at an award ceremony in Washington D.C. The honor will distinguish Saint-Gobain for outstanding energy management and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Out of 17,000 participants in the EPA’s program that was started in 1992, Saint-Gobain is the only manufacturer of glass containers or fiber glass insulation that has won.
According to Saint-Gobain Energy Manager Brad Runda, the path to a green working environment began with educating employees to eliminate wastefulness. Runda said that the idea is to treat the work environment the same way you would at home from a day to day basis.
“We began making an effort in offices and in manufacturing make sure unused lights, computer monitors and other equipment were turned off when not being used,” said Runda.
Runda also said using the right technology and equipment for the application is important as well. One example is switching from HID to fluorescent lighting, or vice versa, depending on the need of the room. Acknowledging that the majority of the energy consumption was through manufacturing, Runda said that it was important to switch to less power consuming equipment and of course, not being wasteful when using resources in the factory.
So far, the plan has worked out well for the company. In 2009, Saint-Gobain of North America was able to reduce their energy intensity by 2.2 percent. According to the company, this is the equivalent to the energy needed to produce nearly 486 million glass bottles or enough fiber glass insulation for more than 100,000 U.S. homes. Their reduction in Carbon Dioxide emissions released into the atmosphere last year was more than 70,000 tons.
Saint Gobain delegate Bill Seiberlich said that he hoped the award would inspire others to take the step in reducing their energy usage and harmful emissions.
“An award like this is good for morale and helps promote saving energy with the public,” Seiberlich said. “Whoever it be, our competitors or the public, we encourage others to do likewise.”
In a statement issued by the EPA Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation, Gina McCarthy, the same sentiments were echoed for Saint-Gobain’s potential for rubbing off on others.
“Saint-Gobain is leading the fight against climate change through greater energy efficiency,” said McCarthy. “Saint-Gobain’s robust energy management program is a model for others and affirms that energy efficiency is our most cost-effective climate strategy.”
Some of Saint-Gobain’s products include: self-cleaning windows, photovoltaic glass, smart insulation systems and water supply systems.