GE is collaborating with the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) to bring the company’s internal Treasure Hunt program, aimed at reducing energy waste, to cities, universities, businesses, and other organizations. The program has helped GE reduce its own energy use by making improvements to all sources of energy waste including electricity, natural gas, water, wastewater, compressed air and steam.
So far, GE has conducted 200 internal treasure hunts, which has helped the company save more than $130 million annually. The company says it conducts regular treasure hunt sessions to identify energy-efficiency savings at a specific manufacturing site, which typically yields opportunities to reduce energy by 20 percent.
The ecomagination Treasure Hunt in collaboration with EDF will help identify energy savings opportunities for partners. As an example, through New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Hospital Challenge, consisting of New York City’s largest hospitals that have agreed to work together to lower their overall footprint, Continuum Health Partners’ (CHP) Roosevelt Hospital served as the first site for the ecomagination Treasure Hunt program.
The program identified opportunities for $2.1 million in energy savings with a payback of 2.6 years, leading to a reduction of 7,500 metric tons of emissions annually.
The GE and EDF collaboration is an effort to drive energy efficiency awareness and action throughout the nation. EDF is helping GE look at ways to share best practices from the Treasure Hunt process more widely across industries and sectors as well as select targeted sites for the 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 Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Airport, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Merck.
The ecomagination Treasure Hunts at these sites will require staffing resources but there is no direct fee charged for the opportunity.