GE and EDF collaborated to improve energy efficiency through innovative treasure hunts.

The U.S. has the potential to reduce its annual energy consumption by 23% over the next ten years through cost-effective energy efficiency measures alone. But to accelerate energy efficiency in the commercial and industrial sectors, we need to capture the imagination of everyone—the pipefitter in the plant, the accountant in the business office and the CEO in the boardroom.

Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) collaborated with GE to do just that through an initiative based on the "Treasure Hunt" process developed by Toyota and adapted successfully by GE at its own facilities.

The "ecomagination Treasure Hunts" initiative aims to demonstrate the substantial energy-efficiency opportunities for companies, while inspiring greater action nationally.

These Treasure Hunts are 3-day, intensive events designed to inspire employees to uncover energy efficiency opportunities.

GE has now published a Treasure Hunt Checklist, which outlines its process for setting up and facilitating the events, to help other interested companies.

Results

Our first Treasure Hunt with GE was at Continuum Health Partners’ Roosevelt Hospital in Manhattan and in just three days, hospital employees identified opportunities for:

• $2.1 million in energy savings with a payback of 2.6 years

• Over 7,500 metric tons of emissions reductions annually

Since 2005, GE has performed over 200 Treasure Hunts across its businesses with $150 million in savings opportunities identified.

The Project Lives On with Labor Unions

EDF has uses the Treasure Hunt model and is working with labor unions to build stronger, more sustainable workplaces by tapping the unique expertise of union members and help uncover energy and environmental savings that strengthen the bottom line and improve the competitiveness of participating companies.

Learn more about Labor Union work