Volvo Group North America: Energy performance
|Cumulative (vs. 2014 Baseline)||19.2%|
|Cumulative (vs. 2009 Baseline)||26.8%|
PORTFOLIO ENERGY PERFORMANCE
Better Buildings, Better Plants Challenge partners strive to decrease portfolio-wide source energy use intensity (EUI) and to increase the percent improvement compared to a set baseline. Volvo Group North America met its first Better Plants goal — a 25% reduction in energy consumption at U.S. facilities — five years ahead of schedule and set a new goal of 25% more in savings by 2024. Volvo's portfolio consists of 8 manufacturing facilities and 5 Prevost service centers as of 2020. Volvo's energy management program emphasizes innovative technology solutions, replication of best practices, and non-production energy consumption. In the first seven years of the new challenge, the Volvo Group is near its target, reducing energy consumption by 19.2% compared with a 2014 baseline. Volvo has shared its energy efficiency practices with its global industrial partners and is planning to do the same through DOE's Better Plants Challenge Program.
*In the spring of 2022, Volvo revised their 2019 and 2020 data and updated the regression model used to calculate their energy savings. As shown in the chart to the right, these changes indicate that Volvo achieved their goal in 2019. However, Better Plants will not retroactively recognize Volvo as a past goal achiever, given the increase in their energy intensity in 2021 due to abnormal operations. Volvo expects their operations to return to normal in 2022 and their energy intensity to fall in line with more recent years.
ENERGY PERFORMANCE BY FACILITY
Looking at the percent improvement in energy performance across all facilities can provide insight into how an organization is saving energy. Ten of their 13 plants have experienced energy intensity reductions in 2020. Over two-thirds of Volvo's facilities participating in the Challenge Program have improved energy performance by >15% since the baseline year of 2014. While structural upgrades like LED lighting and modernized HVAC systems play a part, many of the energy-saving ideas came from energy "treasure hunts" at Volvo Group facilities. These are events in which employee teams observe their facilities during idle or partially idle periods (frequently Sunday) to identify energy waste. In addition, energy efficiency projects completed in 2021 include boiler optimization, changes in the surface treatment process to eliminate an oven, reduction of fans in an oven, and replacement of fluorescent light fixtures with LEDs. Three of the company's manufacturing sites — Lehigh Valley Operations, New River Valley, and Hagerstown — are platinum-level partners in the DOE's Superior Energy Performance program, the highest certification available in the US.
METHOD FOR CALCULATING ENERGY PERFORMANCE
Volvo produces different products and, therefore, uses different metrics to calculate plant-level energy intensity. Depending on the plant, Volvo calculates energy intensity in terms of source energy consumed (in MMBtus) divided by the number of vehicles, number of engines, or power train components produced. The percent change in energy intensity is tracked for each facility on both a monthly and annual basis. Volvo normalizes its plant-level numbers to account for changes in production volume and heating and cooling degree days. These metrics are rolled up to the corporate level, with a corporate-wide percent improvement in energy intensity calculated by taking a weighted average of the percent change in energy intensity at the individual facilities.