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Ford, Toyota Earn EPA 2006 Energy Star Partner Awards

The US Environmental Protection Agency has awarded Ford Motor Company and Toyota Motor Manufacturing North America two of the 67 2006 Energy Star Partner Awards bestowed this year.

Energy Star was introduced by EPA in 1992 as a voluntary, market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency. Now in partnership with DOE, EPA works with more than 8,000 organizations to improve the energy efficiency of products, homes and businesses.

Toyota Motor Manufacturing North America (TMMNA) won an award for Sustained Excellence. TMMNA manages eleven plants in six states, two Canadian provinces and one in Baja California, Mexico.

Ford picked up an award in the Energy Management category. Since 2000, Ford’s US facilities have improved energy efficiency by 18% and reduced CO2 emissions by more than 15%.

The most significant energy efficiency actions included installation of large-scale networked heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, air compressor controls and energy-efficient production tooling. Data-driven processes and automated systems further drove efficiency improvements at manufacturing, corporate, and research and engineering facilities.

EPA recognized Ford specifically for several key programs:

  • Fumes-to-fuel. Ford developed a fumes-to-fuel system that uses paint booth gases to generate electricity. (Earlier post.)

  • Geothermal Energy. The Lima, Ohio, Engine Plant uses cold water from two abandoned limestone quarries on the property to cool a portion of the plant and its equipment.

  • Alternative Energy Sources. The Wayne, Michigan, Assembly Plant uses landfill gasses to heat and cool the facility, reducing the consumption of natural gas. The Ford Rouge Visitor Center in Dearborn, Michigan, houses a photovoltaic array, a solar thermal collector and an automated building management system. The adjacent Dearborn Truck Plant holds the world’s largest living roof that reduces solar thermal load while ground cover converts CO2 into oxygen.



Rafael Seidl

Kudos to these companies for reducing the fossil fuel footprint of their manufacturing operations. Besides generating environmental PR, these measures reduce the cost of operations.

Now if only Ford could figure out which technology it wants to rely on for improving the corporate average fuel economy of its vehicles. Their web site features vehicle showroom that lets you select vehicles by MPG as estimated by EPA across all of its brands. Nice tool, but slide it "all the way" to 30 (7.8l/100km) and sadly, only a few vehicles remain selected.


More energy will be used and more waste created in the production of a vehicle than it will ever use/create in its lifetime. I think cleaning up how auto plants are run and fueled is more important than what mpg the cars get.

Rafael Seidl


I'm not sure what you are basing your assertion on. An analysis of a German car plant showed that of the total energy consumed by a car in its lifetime, about ~13% accrues in the factory (incl. waste) and ~60% in operation. Energy efficiency in the production process is important, as is reducing solvent usage. However, fuel economy remains paramount.

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