Chrysler Group is in global strategic alliance with Fiat S.p.A. They design, engineer, manufacture, distribute and sell vehicles with annual revenues of more than $127 billion. The group has a comprehensive sustainability agenda and in 2013 invested more than $5 billion on research & development to build some of the world’s most advanced processes and products. The Brompton assembly plant in Ontario Canada has achieved stand out success because it benefited from the overall corporate strategy & support, and because its own approach was particularly comprehensive and well adopted by the plant employees. The Clean Energy Ministerial reported on the success of the Brompton plant to promote the work that they had done.
The Chrysler Group is committed to World Class Manufacturing which means that all processes are optimised to minimise waste and improve quality. Crucially, the Energy Management Team at Brampton benefited from the strategic and practical support of an energy efficiency team at Chrysler HQ.
In addition to following the organisation policy, the Brampton plant also initiated process redesign to improve the plant operating capacity including technical projects to improve lighting, control panels and ventilation. The plant also worked to increase energy awareness amongst employees in order to change attitudes and behaviour. What steps did Brompton take to drive change at their plant?
1. Energy Management Team
This team was established to organize energy efficiency training and to conduct frequent reviews of the projects being undertaken. The team was supported by an office at HQ where full-time staff were responsible for energy efficiency projects within the group. This team worked to engage senior management in discussions on energy efficiency, they also worked to engage the workforce through improved awareness & training. The HQ team were also dedicated to practical changes – ensuring that users were engaged in projects and also seeking to improve their own technical capabilities to provide better advice on projects.
2. Energy Reviews
At Brampton these Reviews tracked energy use, provided an inventory on equipment & facilities, and led to the development of a model that the team could work to.
3. Energy Policy
The development of an Energy Policy for the Brampton plant identified that all processes and products would commit to a methodology of Continuous Improvement and that resource would be made available to support energy efficiency initiatives.
4. Energy Performance Indicators
The indicators established a baseline within the plant that were transparent to all and allowed progress to be tracked.
5. Energy Planning
A procedure was implemented to guide all projects and foster consistency & information sharing between projects, see Fig. 1.
Fig.1.Brampton energy planning
– Brampton achieved remarkable savings and energy improvements. Their success can be attributed to several key criteria:
– Critical support at corporate level, specifically the input from the Chrysler Group HQ energy team.
– A well-established, wide corporate culture of efficiency, waste minimisation and sustainability.
– Chrysler Group has been included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for over seven years and this benefits the Group through industry benchmarking, positive external recognition and identification of next projects.
– The Brampton Energy Management Team recognise that training is a significant component to achieving success with their energy efficiency projects and believe that there can’t be enough training!
– And finally, a key approach from Brampton was to engage at ‘shop floor’ level as a priority because the engagement at this level drives passion and commitment from the people who have the knowledge to make technical changes.
The Brampton plant was the first automotive assembly plant in Canada to receive ISO50001 certification. They have realised savings of more than $2 million, saved in the region of 2,000 terajoules of energy and avoided 85,000 tonnes of CO2.
By 2020 the Brampton plant aims to produce 30% fewer gigajoules per vehicle compared to the 2010 baseline. They are also participating in an electricity demand response programme.