The Valvoline Co., Lexington, Ky., is being recognized by EPA for fulfilling its voluntary commitment to the environment .
Through EPA's Energy Star Buildings and Green Lights Partnership, Valvoline reduced energy use in 398 corporate-owned Valvoline Instant Oil Change service centers and 11 manufacturing facilities nationwide.
By Installing energy-efficient lighting, the company hopes to reduce electricity use in these facilities by more than 50 percent.
The upgrades required installing more than 1.8 million square feet of facility space with lighting technologies that last loner, use less electricity, and provide brighter lights in work areas and customer waiting areas.
As a result, Valvoline reduced its electricity consumption by more than 2 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year and increased worker productivity and customer comfort.
Since the production of electricity usually involves burning fossil fuels like coal and oil, the lighting upgrades also translate into an air pollution reduction of 4.2 million pounds of carbon dioxide, 43,520 pounds of sulfur dioxide, and 15,580 pounds of nitrogen oxide per year.
"Valvoline has always endeavored to be environmentally conscious," noted Don Gebhardt, Valvoline's principal environmental engineer. "We hope our results will stand as an example of how relatively easy it is to increase energy efficiency and reduce air pollution."
"The Energy Star Buildings and Green Lights Partnership Program proves that environmental stewardship can also yield significant cost savings through reduced expenditures," said John H. Hankinson Jr., EPA regional administrator in Atlanta.
While lighting currently accounts for 30 to 40 percent of electricity use in commercial and industrial buildings in the United States, that level can be reduced by 50 to 75 percent through the installation of energy-efficient technologies.
Initiated in 1991, Energy Star Buildings and Green Lights has more than 4,000 participants nationwide.
As of June 1999, these participants were saving 11 billion kWh and more than $800 million in energy costs, according to EPA.
For more information about Energy Star Buildings and Green Lights, go to EPA's Web site at www.epa.gov