Two auto parts manufacturing plants in Michigan have become LEED certified for their eco-friendly plant construction and production practices. Both produce parts for the company now known as FCA US LLC, which produces Fiat, Chrysler and Jeep vehicles.
LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, and it’s the top green designation for construction and operation, including use of eco-friendly recycled materials, solar power, and water usage. FYI – The VW production facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee, was the world’s first assembly line to be LEED certified.
Okay, let’s get back to Michigan.
The two FCA winners are the FCA US Sterling Heights Assembly Plant body shop and ZF Axle Drives Marysville, operating in a building owned by FCA US. The two Michigan manufacturing facilities stand among an elite group of automotive facilities as recipients of the prestigious LEED Gold Green Building System certification.
“The SHAP body shop and Marysville Axle Plant were designed and constructed to be leaders in sustainability and in the preservation of the environment,” said Brian Harlow, VP of Manufacturing for FCA North America. “From the start, this was the primary objective of both designs. Our goal was to achieve the highest LEED rating possible based on the challenges of each project and building site. We are proud to once again be recognized for our commitment to having a positive impact on the health of our employees and a minimal impact on the environment.”
LEED, administered by the United States Green Building Council, is a comprehensive system to define, measure and validate green buildings. Certification in the national recognition program is based on strict standards in five key areas: site planning, water management, energy, material use and indoor environmental quality. Based on the number of points awarded in each category, a project can achieve a LEED certified silver, gold or platinum status.
In addition to the SHAP body shop and ZF Axle Drives Marysville, two other FCA US facilities have been LEED Gold certified – the body shop at the Belvidere Assembly Plant (Ill.) and the Trenton South Engine Plant (Mich.), which produces the Pentastar V-6 engine.
Going green, including designing a building for LEED certification, is sound financial planning. Just one example is energy savings. Energy usage at the new body shop was substantially reduced across the board with total savings amounting to nearly $2.5 million per year or the equivalent of the energy used by 1,576 homes per year.
Go green (environmental) to save green (dollars). Makes sense to me. Read more green car and green travel news by Green Car Examiner Evelyn Kanter on my green car and travel blog, ecoXplorer. And always drive safely.