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Johnson Controls: Enterprise-Wide Energy Hunt Program

The Energy Hunt program falls under an enterprise-wide initiative, the Johnson Controls Manufacturing System (JCMS). The system was deployed in 2014 as a comprehensive approach to creating value for customers by enabling every manufacturing plant to minimize waste, improve safety, increase volume and on-time delivery, improve quality, reduce lead times, and outpace competitors. JCMS includes baseline assessments, embedded metrics, and best practices that encompass everything from safe workplace and material control to continuous improvement culture, sustainability, and empowered employees. One of the primary JCMS elements is empowering plant employees to make decisions, solve problems, and to work as a team to create greater efficiencies.

JCMS provided standardization of the Energy Hunt program across Johnson Controls, aimed at finding quick wins to save energy. An Energy Hunt team of subject matter experts was formed to take the lead on implementing the initiative. The team first gathered existing best practices across company facilities, then generated additional tools and materials for plant operations leaders, Energy Champions, and Energy Hunt teams at each location. They shared the information with environment and sustainability leaders across the enterprise to deploy the Energy Hunt program at individual manufacturing plants.

Timeline – The Energy Hunt team spent approximately six months in the major planning, content development, and piloting phase before the program was launched in September 2015. Although Johnson Controls had conducted Energy Hunts in the past, this effort codified and standardized the process as part of JCMS.

Plant Energy Hunt Champions and teams were welcomed to start immediately. For those who wanted additional support, team members were invited to Energy Hunt webinars, which provided an overview of the basic energy management practices and instruction in using the resource materials. These were recorded and placed on the Energy Hunt SharePoint site to provide as an additional resource for future users.

Throughout the year, Energy Hunt workshops took place in different regions including Waynesboro, Pennsylvania; Warren, Michigan; Tampa, Florida; and Wichita, Kansas. Additionally, Johnson Controls held workshops in Mexico, Germany, and China for its international plants. During the workshops, the teams conducted a high-level savings opportunity analysis. Energy Champions and their teams used the program’s documents and tools to identify low-cost and no-cost energy efficiency measures (Six Quick Wins) at the plants hosting the event, which would ultimately reduce energy intensity metrics tracked by the JCMS.

Soon after participating in an Energy Hunt workshop, plants started identifying projects and entering them into the enterprise-wide tracking system on a monthly basis. The company developed a monthly progress report of new and existing projects to encourage ongoing project identification, project completion, and continuous improvement, thus establishing best business practices that can be shared across all locations.

Now that the program is formally launched, Johnson Controls expects each plant to undergo Energy Hunt activities each year as part of their ongoing participation in the JCMS and its commitment to continuous improvement, including supporting those plants that seek to achieve ISO 50001 certification.

Staff – The team members involved in the Energy Hunt process are typically diverse, representing several different functions, including environment, health and safety, continuous improvement or process excellence, facility management, maintenance, finance, and human resources.

  • Leadership – Under the general direction of JCMS, which is led by the Global Manufacturing Operations Council, the Environment & Sustainability Principle includes several Principle Leaders who serve as thought leaders and content experts to continuously improve the Energy Hunt program. Each plant also has a Plant Manager Champion and a Plant Principle Champion designated for Environment & Sustainability who ensure that Energy Hunt requirements are met.
  • The Plant Manager is responsible for selecting the plant Energy Champion and team, assuring that Energy Hunt training is completed, hosting the kick-off meeting, communicating program goals, objectives, and progress to plant employees, including Energy Hunt program updates in staff meetings and plant-wide communications, and encouraging all plant employees to actively participate.
  • The Onsite Energy Champion is responsible for identifying cost-effective and achievable energy efficiency actions through process improvements, procedure improvements, or equipment improvements. In addition, the Energy Champion:
    • Communicates the progress and benefits of energy efficiency and waste reduction improvements to the plant staff and management, including tracking individual Energy Hunt projects;
    • Tracks and reports energy usage against production data monthly;
    • Executes energy savings projects or delegates energy savings projects to other energy team members for execution, following up regularly for completion;
    • Ensures that Energy Hunt becomes part of the everyday practices and culture of the facility; and
    • Participates in work cell meetings involving other plant Energy Champions.
  • The Plant Operations Director is responsible for ensuring that Energy Hunt projects are approved, implemented, and sustained across their JCMS work cell.
  • The Sustainability Subject Matter Experts are responsible for sharing best practices across JCMS work cells and the enterprise.

Outside Support – Johnson Controls provided a suggested list of vendors to all Energy Teams and encouraged them to add others. Additionally, the Environment & Sustainability Principle Team continuously identifies third-party materials and resources, such as those from the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, to utilize as part of this program.

Subject matter experts developed standard Energy Hunt materials, which were piloted at several facilities. These pilots were helpful in further refining the content and functionality of the tools and making sure Johnson Controls was setting up plants for success.

Tools and materials included:

  • An Energy Hunt introductory course e-learning module.
  • Background documents focused on the basic energy management practices:
    • Compressed Air
    • Lighting
    • HVAC – Temperature Controls & Scheduling
    • HVAC – Building Envelope
    • Employee Awareness and Engagement
    • Energy Cost Management
  • Plant walk-through worksheets for each of these energy management practice areas.
  • Energy bill analysis instructions to learn how to access the plant’s energy bills and information to manage energy costs.
  • Sample agenda for a one- to three-day Energy Hunt workshop, which helped teams at each plant set up a successful meeting format to implement these practices.
  • An Energy Hunt calculator tool, which helps estimate the savings associated with potential Energy Hunt projects and helps Energy Champions enter data in the project tracking database.

All materials were released through an internal SharePoint site that gives all employees access to the information, making it easy for anyone at any location to see the content and tools.

To continue to track progress and measure success, Johnson Controls regularly assesses and reports key performance indicators (KPIs).

The KPIs are:

  • Number of energy savings projects planned – tracked monthly
  • Number of energy savings projects completed – tracked monthly
  • Dollar savings associated with energy savings projects planned – tracked monthly
  • Dollar savings associated with energy savings projects completed – tracked monthly
  • Number of Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) certified in the Johnson Controls Manufacturing System Environment & Sustainability Principle – tracked quarterly
  • Total amount of energy used by the enterprise – tracked quarterly
  • Total energy intensity reduced based on energy intensity goal – tracked annually
  • Average maturity level of plants on the Environment & Sustainability Principle – tracked quarterly
  • Number of plants reaching Level 3 in JCMS in Environment & Sustainability Principle – tracked quarterly

Many of these KPIs are available in Johnson Controls’ annual sustainability report published on its website in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative framework.

Based on the initial year of the Energy Hunt program being incorporated into JCMS, Johnson Controls identified three times as many energy savings projects as it had in the prior year. The company’s U.S. operations energy intensity showed a 3 percent reduction. The increase in energy savings was a key driver of this performance and was achieved thanks in part to the change in culture driven by JCMS and supported by the Energy Hunt Program tools and materials.

One example of a facility that has recently implemented the Energy Hunt program is the Waynesboro, Pennsylvania plant. As part of the Energy Hunt program, the plant team identified several opportunities to improve the insulation of the building envelope. This dramatically reduced heating and cooling expenses. In addition, the team implemented a lighting retrofit, a compressed air audit program, and a “Turn It Off” campaign in the equipment area. The team also has posted signage to engage employees in the program, including their Energy Hunt Projects and Goals. Overall, the projects identified are expected to deliver approximately 38 percent savings from their total energy spend.