The Green Spirit program is Electrolux’s internal energy management program, which helps promote energy efficiency and energy management practices across the organization.
Sustainability is a core value at Electrolux and runs throughout the management chain. Sustainability is reinforced by the VP for Group Sustainability Affairs, who manages sustainability across all business sectors. In addition, the four sectors for Major Appliances (North America, Latin America, Europe and Africa, Asia Pacific), as well as the Professional and Home Care Products sectors each have an Energy lead. At the facility level, the Green Spirit certification draws its workforce from a broader Green Spirit program and associated Green Spirit teams.
With such a strong organizational structure around energy management, Electrolux did not need any re-organization when they launched the Green Spirit certification. The sector leads and the corporate sustainability team absorbed the majority of the planning and assessment work. At the facility level, local Green Spirit teams worked to implement energy saving measures and prepare the site for certification.
In addition to promoting overall sustainability through the Green Spirit certification, Electrolux has used it to target major energy-saving opportunities systematically. For example, based on the knowledge and experience of Electrolux staff, the company identified leak repair in compressed air systems as an avenue for saving energy. As a result, Electrolux established compressed air leak detection/repair and air pressure reduction requirements for achieving the Green Spirit certification. Moving forward, Electrolux plans to leverage the technical assistance available through the Better Plants program to identify best practices and redefine or add certification criteria.
More information on Electrolux’s Green Spirit program can be found on the Better Buildings Beat Blog.
The process for certification begins at the facility level. Each plant conducts and submits a self-assessment to the sector lead, who evaluates and determines the appropriate next steps. Based on the current rating of the facility and the rating they seek, an assessment is done either by the sector or global lead for Energy. The facility is either granted or denied the certification based on the results of this 1-day assessment and the KPI (Key Performance Indicator) results. Each level of certification and its focus areas are listed below.
The levels of certification are:
1 Star – Measure and Manage Energy Demand and Usage.
2 Star – Improve the Productivity of the Largest Energy Consuming Processes
3 Star – Employee Involvement and Process Optimization
4 Star – One Piece Flow from Fabrication to Assembly (see note)
Criteria for attaining Green Spirit certification levels are evaluated and raised annually. For a detailed breakdown of the criteria by level, refer to the Green Spirit certification criteria document.
The Green Spirit certification is currently deployed for the Major Appliances and Home Care Products divisions with plans to expand it to Professional plants in 2017.
Note: A “one piece flow” is a lean manufacturing concept wherein parts are manufactured one at a time, and flow throughout the manufacturing and supply chain as a single unit as opposed to manufacturing large batches of parts simultaneously. It focuses on completing the production of a part from start to finish with as little work in progress inventory between operations as possible.
To receive Electrolux’s 4-star certification, the plant should have studied and documented physical plant changes that are required to implement one piece flow from fabrication to assembly.
The Green Spirit program and the Green Spirit certification are promoted through various outreach efforts. Information is conveyed via -dedicated Green Spirit bulletin boards directly on the production floor, Green Day events, the company-wide newsletter, and an annual summit of Green Spirit leaders.
The Green Spirit Board is a bulletin board devoted to Green Spirit activities and is maintained by the Green Spirit team at each facility. The teams use the board to communicate the facility’s current Green Spirit certification status, goals, and the process to achieve certification the following year. The board also highlights Green Spirit members, details facilities’ energy performance, and advertises upcoming Green Day events.
Green Day events are hosted at Electrolux facilities by the corporate sustainability team with the help of the local Green Spirit team. This provides a platform for the Green Spirit team to communicate with their colleagues about the Green Spirit certification they seek to attain and clarify everyone’s role in the process.
Egate is the online internal news channel for Electrolux; the Green Spirit team can leverage it to promote the Green Spirit certification. New certifications received by various facilities are highlighted regularly in the Egate channel.
The efforts of all facilities that earned Green Spirit certification are recognized at the annual Green Spirit Summit. This 3-day event is hosted by the Green Spirit leaders from every North American Electrolux plant, who come together to review each other’s progress, receive energy management training, and share best practices. The event culminates in the recognition of facilities that earned new Green Spirit certifications.
Electrolux has created a number of useful Excel-based tools to help Green Spirit team members track the progress of their energy saving plans and target major energy users such as compressed air and process heating systems:
The success of the Green Spirit certification program is measured in terms of the number of facilities that achieve a higher rating each year and their respective KPI attainment. The energy KPI for each facility is defined in terms of kWh/Standard unit and the water KPI is liter/standard unit (One liter = 0.2641 gallons or one gallon = 3.785 liters). The assessment of KPIs is done during the facility audit.
The Green Spirit certification acts as a stepping stone to other certifications like ISO 50001 and other lean certification within the company. The program is the key driver for sustainability and helped Electrolux lower its energy per-unit by 42 percent, equaling $50 million in annual cost savings from 2005 to 2015.
The Green Spirit certification is also used to set and achieve desired energy and greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals. By setting KPIs for facilities in line with the organization’s energy reduction goals, Electrolux has been highly successful in reaching those goals. In 2016, nine plants were awarded the top level, Platinum, and in total 32 plants reached certification status. Of the U.S. plants, three of five achieved certification in 2017.