The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has released the 2020 Better Plants Annual Progress Update, which highlights the progress made by its more than 235 public and private-sector Better Plants Program partners. This year, DOE welcomed 20 new partners to the program and challenge. Partner organizations come from all 50 states, Washington DC, and Puerto Rico, and include Fortune 100 companies, family-owned small businesses, and water treatment organizations.
These organizations make up roughly 12% of the U.S. manufacturing footprint and together have cumulatively saved $8.2 billion and 1.7 quadrillion British Thermal Units (BTUs) of energy. Their 3,200 facilities are leading the U.S. in energy, water, and waste efficiency through participation in the Better Plants Program, part of DOE’s Better Buildings Initiative.
Highlights from the report include:
- As of 2020, Better Plants partners have successfully met 67 energy and water goals.
- 15 new partners have joined the program: Archer Daniels Midland, Boardman Foods, City of Forty Wayne – City Utilities, East Penn Manufacturing Co., Gibraltar Industries, Miami-Dade Water & Sewer Department, ND Paper Inc., Occidental Chemical Corporation, Sears Seating, Silgan Closures, Silgan Containers, Silgan Plastic Food Containers, Southwest Cheese, Valmont Industries, and Vitro Architectural Glass.
- Five partners — Alexandria Renew Enterprises, Lineage Logistics, Lockheed Martin, McWane, Inc., and Owens Corning — have joined the Better Plants Challenge, setting ambitious energy-intensity reduction goals and committing to publicly share energy performance data and solutions.
- One existing Better Plants Challenge partner, NEW Water, achieved its energy intensity reduction goal for 2020.
- Three program partners have achieved their energy intensity reduction goals for 2020: AT&T, JBT Corporation, and Narragansett Bay Commission.
- Almost 2,000 participants attended training webinars through an Online Learning Series and several industrial-focused sessions during the 2020 Better Buildings, Better Plants Virtual Summit.
- 20 Better Plants partners joined the DOE Waste Reduction Pilot to help reduce waste, improve energy performance, and reduce operating costs.
- Eight Better Plants partner employees won DOE’s Individuals Taking Energy Action in Manufacturing (ITEAM) Prize, which recognizes individuals who have implemented creative, specific, and innovative ideas and practices that led to measurable energy savings at their manufacturing facilities.
“Better Plants Partners exemplify the innovative spirit of American manufacturing,” said Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency Alex Fitzsimmons. “These partners are developing, implementing, and sharing innovative, energy-efficient practices that help their organizations save energy and money, which in turn helps the U.S. economy stay competitive.”
Through the Better Buildings, Better Plants program, DOE works with partners who have set ambitious energy, water and/or waste reduction goals. DOE supports these partners by providing technical expertise, managing peer-exchange opportunities, highlighting successful solutions, and expanding access to innovation.
In addition to setting energy-efficiency goals, Better Plants Challenge partners also share their solutions and best practices. There are now 49 Better Plants Challenge partners sharing a combined 83 showcase projects, implementation models, and “solutions-at-a-glance” on the Better Buildings Solution Center.