Energy Department Highlights Nissan's Better Plants Challenge Showcase Project in Tennessee

April 17, 2013

As part of the Obama Administration's commitment to lowering energy bills for U.S. businesses, the Energy Department today recognized Nissan's participation in the Better Buildings, Better Plants Challenge and its showcase project at the company's new energy efficient paint plant in Smyrna, Tennessee. Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy David Danielson joined officials from Tennessee and Nissan on a tour of the Smyrna paint plant, which opened in January and is expected to cut energy use by almost a third compared to its predecessor.

"Partners in the Better Plants Challenge are leading by example, showing firsthand how energy efficiency improvements save money by saving energy," said Assistant Secretary Danielson. "The investments made through the Better Plants Challenge are helping cut energy waste while saving businesses millions in energy costs, creating American jobs, and helping to increase the competitiveness of the U.S. manufacturing sector."

Each year, the U.S. spends about $200 billion just to power commercial buildings—and another $200 billion to power industrial facilities. Together, commercial and industrial buildings account for roughly half of the nation's energy use and more than 40% of our carbon emissions. The Better Buildings, Better Plants Challenge serves as the industrial component of President Obama's broader Better Buildings Challenge which was launched in December 2011 to help America's commercial and industrial buildings become at least 20% more efficient over the next decade.

"Nissan is committed to increasing energy efficiency as we reduce the environmental impact of manufacturing high quality vehicles sold in North America," said Susan Brennan, Nissan's vice president of manufacturing in Smyrna. "These efforts align with our global commitment to zero emission vehicle leadership and corporate social responsibility to employees, stakeholders, and our customers."

As a partner in the Better Buildings, Better Plants Challenge, Nissan North America has committed to reducing energy use in its three U.S. plants 25% by 2020, affecting 12 million square feet of plant space. According to Nissan's projections, the new 250,000 square-foot footprint Smyrna paint plant is capable of reducing energy use and carbon emissions by 30%.

The Better Buildings, Better Plants Challenge helps more than 11 industrial building owners cut energy waste and save money on their utility bills through a range of energy efficiency measures, such as whole facility energy system improvements, compressed air updates, submetering initiatives, and energy efficient facility construction. Participating organizations receive technical assistance from the Department and share best practices on industrial energy efficiency with other Challenge partners.

For more information please visit the Better Buildings, Better Plants Challenge website.