In an effort to help cities, universities, customers and members of private industry improve energy efficiency and cut costs, GE (NYSE: GE) and Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) are collaborating to identify energy savings opportunities for partners. Through New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Hospital Challenge, Continuum Health Partners’ (CHP) Roosevelt Hospital served as the first site for the ecomagination Treasure Hunt program, where opportunities for $2.1 million in energy savings with a payback of 2.6 years were identified, leading to over 7,500 metric tons of emissions reductions annually.
“Hats off to GE and Continuum for their efforts to help our hospitals and other large institutions save on energy costs and reduce our carbon emissions.”
“Without the involvement of our private-sector partners in innovative programs like the Mayor’s Hospital Challenge, we will never reach the ambitious carbon reduction goals we set in PlaNYC,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Hats off to GE and Continuum for their efforts to help our hospitals and other large institutions save on energy costs and reduce our carbon emissions.”
“Rather than having a consultant write a report on potential energy projects, the Treasure Hunt process allowed for Roosevelt employees to share ideas that were quantified in energy dollars and metric tons of carbon dioxide saved,” said Continuum Health Partners assistant vice president of Corporate Engineering, Stephen Monez.
Through its ecomagination initiative, GE has made significant progress on its own energy reduction goals by utilizing Treasure Hunts, an internal process where GE leaders work with onsite staff to apply technology expertise and process improvement tools to identify, quantify and recommend enhancements to sources of energy waste – including electricity, natural gas, water, wastewater, compressed air and steam. Since 2005, the company has performed over 200 internal Treasure Hunts contributing to energy savings of over $130 million. The CHP opportunity was identified through Mayor Bloomberg’s Hospital Challenge where thirteen of New York City’s largest hospital systems have agreed to work together to lower their overall energy footprint. In conjunction with the mayor’s staff, GE has provided critical information to participants of the Challenge regarding the four key steps in solving energy problems: identification, technology, implementation, and financing.
“Extending our Treasure Hunts to external partners and helping them reduce costs and save energy is a logical next step for GE, said Steve Fludder, GE’s vice president of ecomagination. “This initiative has already revealed significant results, as demonstrated by our first partnership with Continuum Health Partners. We look forward to working with EDF in this effort to show how energy efficiency progress can be accelerated through partnership and collaboration.”
GE is collaborating with EDF, a global non-profit focused on finding solutions to society's most urgent environmental problems, in the effort to drive energy efficiency awareness and action throughout the country. EDF is helping GE explore avenues for sharing best practices from the Treasure Hunt process more widely across industries and sectors and has helped select targeted sites for this initiative. Over the next few months, EDF and GE will work to verify energy efficiency opportunities and identify industry best practices at select sites including facilities run by the cities of Atlanta and Orlando, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Merck and others. The ecomagination Treasure Hunts at these sites will require staffing resources but there is no direct fee charged for the opportunity.
“Trillions of dollars in energy savings are up for grabs in the United States,” said Gwen Ruta, EDF vice president for Corporate Partnerships. “Working with GE, we’re making it possible for cities and towns, hospitals and universities and businesses of all sizes to ferret out the valuable energy treasure buried in their own backyards.”