At more than 300 sites around the world, GE employees have conducted â€śTreasure Hunts.â€ť An energy Treasure Hunt is a process leveraged from lean manufacturing, developed by Toyota and refined by GE, designed to identify projects and opportunities to reduce energy use.
To date, participating GE facilities have identified opportunities to reduce energy use by 20% and, overall, the Treasure Hunts have contributed to more than $150 million in savings and the reduction of more than 250,000 metric tons of CO2.
Inspired by these results, GE, in collaboration with Environmental Defense Fund, launched an ecomagination Treasure Hunt initiative with select partner cities, universities and private industries to help uncover similar savings.
In Orlando, GE Capital helped the Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium tackle its energy bill, uncovering ways to reduce the stadium's energy spending by 50% annually.
Performed over two-and-a-half days—before, during and after the annual Florida Classic football game on November 20—the Orlando facility's employees and GE technical experts studied the Florida Citrus Bowl's energy usage at three different periods: at rest, at start-up and in full usage.
The Treasure Hunt process began weeks in advance, with a team from GE Capital's Access program—which shares tools and insights from across GE's divisions to help other businesses tackle tough problems. Using GE's lean processes, the Capital team guided Orlando's sustainability staff through a planning process, which included calculating the Citrus Bowl's energy spending and usage to determine a baseline.
Overall, the ecomagination Treasure Hunt identified 25 potential savings opportunities. In addition to the cost savings, the suggested improvements could reduce the stadium's carbon dioxide emissions by 617 metric tons, the equivalent of eliminating 118 cars from the roads or eliminating 25,708 propane cylinders used for home barbecues.