Tennessee Fortune 100 and 500 companies setting renewable energy, sustainability targets

Earlier this month a new report, 2016 Corporate Advanced Energy Commitments, explained renewable energy demand is “significant and growing quickly” within Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 companies.

fortune-500-logoIts findings reveal that 71 of Fortune 100 companies and 215 of Fortune 500 companies have set renewable energy or sustainability targets.

TAEBC decided to take a closer look at which companies in Tennessee not only made the list but also have set energy goals within their corporations.

It’s important to mention 22 companies in the Fortune 500 list have committed to 100% renewable energy including General Motors and Nike.

General Motors has a plant located in Spring Hill, Tennessee and recently announced plans to add 650 jobs there. Meanwhile, Nike’s largest distribution center is located in Memphis, Tennessee.

fedexlogoComing in at the highest ranked Tennessee headquartered company on the list is FedEx Corp. FedEx’s corporate office is located in Memphis. It’s been on the list for more than 20 years and employs more than 323,000 people nationwide.

As for energy commitments, FedEx Corp. has set ambitious goals to reduce its footprint by:

  • Increasing FedEx Express vehicle efficiency by 30 percent by 2020 (It surpassed its original 20 percent by 2020 goal years ahead of schedule.)
  • Getting 30 percent of its jet fuel from alternative fuels by 2030
  • Expanding on-site renewable energy generation and procurement of renewable energy credits

The company has made impressive gains in meeting and exceeding these goals.

  • In FY12, FedEx achieved a 22% fuel efficiency improvement in the FedEx Express vehicle fleet since FY05. It also happily announced that FedEx Express increased its previously stated vehicle fuel efficiency goal by 50% to a 30% improvement by 2020, still using FY05 as the baseline year.
  • By the end of FY12, FedEx Express had increased its global electric vehicle and hybrid-electric vehicle fleet to 482 vehicles, an increase of nearly 18%. As of December 2012, these vehicles had logged 14.8 million miles and saved 480,000 gallons of fuel since being introduced to its fleet in 2005.

hcaholdings-inc-logoThe other Tennessee company making it to the Fortune 100 list is HCA Holdings, Inc. HCA Holdings’s corporate office is in Nashville. It’s the nation’s largest hospital chain and its revenues rose 8.7% over the past year. The magazine credits this to the passing of the Affordable Care Act, increasing its number of insured patients seeking healthcare.

HCA Holdings, Inc. has been on Fortune’s list for at least 22 years. The company employs more than 200,000 workers.

HCA has created a 2016 Sustainability Plan that mentions the collective impact all hospitals made in 2015 along with plans for the future in new construction projects including:

  • Pursuit of LEED Status – Several of HCA’s hospitals have received LEED Certified status or are in the final stages of such including it’s Nashville Data Center.
  • Alternative Energy Sources – Solar, wind, and combined heat and power energy systems can be incorporated into new construction. HCA’s Sustainability Plan says “an evaluation of the feasibility of these systems will occur for all future projects.

Tennessee technology suppliers ready to meet fuel efficiency standards

Technology suppliers in Tennessee are ready to help pave the way to develop and manufacture high-efficiency, low-carbon technologies for big trucks, buses and other large vehicles. It’s all in an effort to meet new national standards for fuel efficiency in medium- and heavy-duty vehicles on America’s roadways.

In the first-ever attempt to gauge the scope of the United States’ high-efficiency technology supplier sector for heavy-duty trucks and buses, CALSTART looked over businesses and identified and mapped 255 companies.  The firms range from vehicle manufacturers to component suppliers to technology developers. Of those companies, 4 of them are in Tennessee.

  1. Hankook Tire in Clarksville develops three new tires that maintain the best driving performance while also keeping in mind climate change due to global warming.
  2. Bridgestone in Nashville creates new tire designs with narrower treads, larger diameters and higher inflation pressure to reach maximum fuel efficiency thanks to “ologic” technology.
  3. Spicerparts located in Gordonsville makes driveshaft technology in medium- and heavy-duty vehicles that are light-weight, lower cost and last longer on the open road with vibration control.
  4. Magneti Marelli in Pulaski offers advanced solutions for diesel engines while respecting the environment. The company creates a Multijet system which reduces pollutants and noise, a system that’s catching on around the world.

Medium- and heavy-duty vehicles make up about 20 percent of GHG (Greenhouse Gas) emissions and oil use for U.S. transportation but are only about 5 percent of the vehicles on the road.

Proterra, Inc. battery electric buses are jumpstarting Nashville’s zero-emission mass transit system. (Courtesy: Proterra, Inc. & Cleantechnica)

Proterra, Inc. battery electric buses are jumpstarting Nashville’s zero-emission mass transit system. (Courtesy: Proterra, Inc. & Cleantechnica)

Businesses that rely on large trucks and buses know that more efficient vehicles save money, and reduced fuel use is a fundamental driver for heavy-duty efficiency technologies. But as the report makes clear, many companies support strong national standards because they help signal future technology needs, provide clear goals and reduce risk for making investments.

For example, Proterra, Inc. has been working alongside Nashville’s Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) since February 2014. MTA announced last year it purchased nine 35-foot Proterra EcoRide™ electric buses, which will help with Nashville’s zero-emission mass transit system. Proterra, Inc. is a leading provider in making zero-emission, battery-electric buses.

Proterra, Inc. buses can last for up to 12 years and during that time it’ll save Nashville around $462,000 compared to diesel, making them 64% more cost-effective to operate than diesel.

For a look at the Heavy-Duty High Efficiency Technology Suppliers interactive map and it’s influence in Tennessee, click here.

Alcoa, Inc. receives conditional Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing loan

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing’s (ATVM) loan program enables the domestic manufacturing of advanced technology vehicles and components. To date, the Department’s Loan Programs Office (LPO) has helped accelerate the resurgence of American auto manufacturing by issuing more than $8 billion in direct loans, which supported the production of more than 9 million cars and approximately 35,000 direct jobs across eight states.

Recently, DOE announced a conditional commitment for a $259 million loan to Alcoa Inc. This conditional commitment is the first issued by DOE under the ATVM loan program since Secretary Moniz announced a number of improvements to the program last year, and is the first step toward issuing a final loan to Alcoa. If finalized, the loan would support the company’s Alcoa, Tenn., manufacturing facility, where the company will produce high-strength aluminum for North American automakers looking to lightweight their vehicles.

According to U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, the ATVM loan program can play an important role in helping to finance expanded domestic manufacturing of fuel-efficient technologies that will support the next generation of advanced vehicles.

The loan is good news for Alcoa, and for Tennessee. More than one-third of Tennessee manufacturing jobs are auto-related, and investment in advanced manufacturing is an important part of how our state will continue to attract good-paying jobs, said Senator Lamar Alexander.

The automotive sector in Tennessee represents what may be the single largest opportunity to expand the use of advanced energy technologies. The industry is looking to a number of these technologies to improve fuel efficiency demanded by government and consumers. Alcoa is an example of a company creating new materials that will make possible significant reductions of vehicle weight and improvements in gas mileage.

Alcoa estimates that its expanded production is expected to create an additional 200 permanent full-time jobs, in addition to 400 jobs at the peak of construction.

For more information on the ATVM loan program and Alcoa’s loan, click here.