Obama Administration Announces Johnson Controls, Macy's, and Sprint Join the Better Buildings Challenge
February 21, 2013
As part of the Obama Administration's commitment to creating clean energy jobs and lowering energy bills for U.S. businesses, the Department announced that Johnson Controls, Macy's, and Sprint are joining the Better Buildings Challenge. Launched by President Obama in 2011, the Better Buildings Challenge brings together corporations, universities, municipalities, and other national leaders to make significant commitments to energy efficiency, reduce waste, and save on energy costs. Johnson Controls, Macy's, and Sprint will upgrade more than 200 million square feet of building space to cut energy use by at least 20% by 2020. These steps support the President's goal, announced in the State of the Union address last week, of cutting energy waste from homes and businesses in half over the next two decades.
"Investments in energy efficiency that save millions in energy costs are making the American economy more competitive, protecting our air and water and creating jobs," said U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu. "We applaud these new partners for leading by example and showing the savings that energy efficiency makes possible while positioning America as a global leader in the clean energy race."
Each year, the United States spends about $200 billion just to power commercial buildings—and another $200 billion to power industrial facilities. President Obama launched the Better Buildings Challenge to help America's commercial and industrial buildings become at least 20% more efficient over the next decade. As Better Buildings Challenge partners, Johnson Controls, Macy's, and Sprint will work with the Energy Department to implement energy savings practices that reduce energy waste and save money. These new partners will also share facility-level energy use data and successful strategies with Better Buildings Challenge partners and other U.S. businesses and organizations—helping to lead a clean, sustainable energy economy.
About the new Better Buildings Challenge partners announced today:
Based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Johnson Controls has reduced the energy intensity of its U.S. manufacturing plants by 25% from 2002 to 2008. Since 2000, Johnson Controls has reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 18 million metric tons and generated savings of $7 billion for its building efficiency customers.
"Johnson Controls commits to an additional 25% energy intensity reduction in its 71 U.S. manufacturing plants covering 16 million square feet through 2019," said Clay Nesler, Vice President of Global Energy and Sustainability at Johnson Controls. "Our energy management practices have had a positive impact on organizational performance and profitability, as well as on the environment."
Headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, Macy's has pledged to reduce energy use in 179 million square feet of its commercial real estate. Macy's has engaged in aggressive energy reduction measures through the development and use of its Energy Information System to monitor, analyze, and target key energy opportunities. Coupled with this tool, Macy's energy staff are working with the company's field personnel to identify opportunities for reducing energy and eliminating waste. Macy's is also a leader in LED technology for accent lighting—replacing over one million lamps over the last three years and reducing the energy used for this lighting by more than 70%.
"Macy's is pleased to enter into a partnership with the Better Buildings Challenge, helping lead the nation to greater energy efficiency, economic growth and a cleaner environment," said Bill Lyon, Macy's Vice President of Energy Management. "Our commitment will lead to an energy savings of 20% by 2020. We are looking forward to sharing our progress in creating greater efficiency and savings."
Based in Overland Park, Kansas, Sprint has extensive operations throughout the United States and in three of the U.S. territories—the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and Guam. With approximately 40,000 employees and a network that serves more than 55 million customers, Sprint's operations are significant. Sprint is committing to reduce its energy consumption by 20% by 2017. Its 200-acre Overland Park, Kansas campus is one of the most environmentally responsible campuses in the country. Sprint's greenhouse gas reduction strategy relies primarily on reducing energy consumption but also on increasing use of renewable energy. Sprint has secured five percent of its total energy use from renewable energy—including wind, solar, geothermal, hydrogen fuel cells—and consistently ranks within the top 15 on the EPA Green Power Partner list for Fortune 500 companies.
"Sprint embraces the approach DOE is taking to accelerate energy efficiency best practices across a wide variety of building types," said Ralph Reid, Vice President of Corporate Responsibility at Sprint. "As the first telecommunications company to join the program, Sprint looks forward to learning from the other program participants and contributing its own best practices. As part of our commitment to the program, Sprint is increasing its absolute electrical energy reduction goal from 15% to 20% by 2017."
Launched by President Obama in December of 2011, the goal of the Better Buildings Challenge is to make American commercial and industrial buildings at least 20% more energy efficient by 2020. More than 110 organizations, representing more than 2 billion square feet of commercial and industrial buildings and almost $2 billion in energy efficiency financing, currently partner with the U.S. Department of Energy in the Better Buildings Challenge. For more information please visit the Better Buildings Challenge website.