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Department of Energy Recognizes Volvo Group North America for its Recertification to SEP 50001

Volvo facilityThe U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recognizes Volvo Group North America for certification to the Superior Energy Performance 50001 (SEP 50001) program at three U.S. facilities: New River Valley plant in Dublin, Virginia, Mack Trucks Inc. in Macungie, Pennsylvania, and Volvo Powertrain North America in Hagerstown, Maryland. Collectively, these facilities represent more than 7,000 employees, over 4.6 million square feet of workspace, and 85% of Volvo Group North America’s energy use in the United States. Currently, Volvo’s Mack Trucks and Hagerstown sites are in their fourth SEP 50001 certification cycle and New River Valley is in its fifth.

Volvo Group North America is part of Volvo Group, which recognizes the imperative to provide sustainable transportation solutions and has a plan to become climate-neutral by 2040. The first pillar in the Volvo strategy is energy efficiency, in which DOE programs play key roles. Along with the facilities’ success in the SEP 50001 program, the company has 27 facilities involved in the DOE Better Climate Challenge and 13 in Better Plants. Participation in SEP 50001 and use of a robust energy management system have helped the sites achieve their Better Plants goals. 

A Volvo facility begins the journey toward improved energy performance by identifying the significant energy users (SEUs). The energy team then ranks the SEUs, factoring in energy usage, risk potential, and importance to top management (e.g., whether an action would also help meet emissions reduction goals). For example, the Hagerstown ranking identified boilers, air compressors, and heat treatment as priority areas.

The facility then establishes an energy baseline, comparing projected energy use with actual energy use. This task serves as a “litmus test” to ensure that the energy team is accounting for everything that needs to be considered. The baseline is used to set targets and objectives. Finally, energy performance indicators (EnPIs) are used to track progress. ENPIs allow users to normalize results by accounting for variables (e.g., weather and production levels) that affect energy consumption. 

The targets are monitored regularly, results are reported to top management, and are discussed in annual management reviews. This allows the facility to make adjustments and informs upper management of any need for additional support.

The corporate office takes on the critical role of coordination between the facilities. Ten years ago, Volvo formed an energy network, the Volvo Energy Network North America (VENNA), to share best practices between the facilities and increase the level of knowledge.

DOE’s SEP 50001 program, managed by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's Industrial Efficiency and Decarbonization Office (IEDO), offers certification and elevated levels of recognition to facilities that achieve sustained excellence in energy management.

Learn more about how the Volvo Group North America’s energy management implementation and resulting benefits.