Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ 2021 merger with PSA Group led to its North American plants reducing their carbon footprints through more efficient protocols.
Facilities under the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles umbrella before the formation of Stellantis adopted an eight-step process from PSA two years ago called Excellent Plant Shutdown, which strategically shuts off equipment in nonproduction periods to cut energy consumption.
Nine Stellantis plants in Michigan, for instance, have saved $1 million since instituting the measures in 2021. These plants conserved 15 million kilowatt-hours of electricity, Stellantis said, the equivalent of charging about 950 million smartphones. Including other energy-saving programs, the plants have saved a total of 25 million kilowatt-hours.
“We’re documenting the key steps in order to assign responsibility, understand the equipment that can be shut down and to what level, who’s going to be shutting down and then we follow that up with an audit and then we measure the results afterwards,” Kevin Dunbar, Stellantis’ director of North America facilities and general services, told Automotive News. “It’s really, honestly, quite simple.”
Simple actions are delivering major savings in the Michigan plants, with the equivalent of 7,800 tons of carbon dioxide cut over the last two years. This brings Stellantis closer to its 50 percent carbon footprint reduction target by 2030, which is part of the company’s Dare Forward 2030 business plan. By 2038, Stellantis aims to achieve net zero carbon emissions.
“The key part is the documentation of it,” Dunbar said. That “forces people to take responsibility for the key pieces of equipment” and it “documents — from an operating procedure — the capabilities of the equipment, so a certain piece of machinery may not be able to be shut down 100 percent, but we can go to 75 percent, 80 percent, and it’s fully documented.”
Carrying out these changes was a challenge at first, with thousands of pieces of equipment in assembly plants to account for. But the UAW supported the moves, Dunbar said, which took several months to implement.