CEO Jim Rogers addresses the crowd Wednesday as Eastman Chemical Co. celebrates its 2013 Energy Star Partner of the Year Award. David Grace photo.
KINGSPORT — Eastman Chemical Co. celebrated receiving the 2013 “Energy Star Partner of the Year” Award from the Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday.
Eastman is the only chemical company nationwide to get the EPA designation two years in a row.
Eastman Chairman and CEO Jim Rogers and Parker Smith, Eastman’s vice president and general manager of Worldwide Manufacturing Support, hosted the celebration with employees and area leaders at an Eastman Employee Center event.
“There shouldn’t be any arguments against energy conservation,” Rogers said at the celebration. “We should all be working on that. As a chemical company, Eastman is proud of the work we do, not only on protecting the environment but in particular what we do in energy conservation.”
EPA cited Eastman for improving energy intensity by 2.5 percent in 2012 and 7 percent since 2008.
Eastman’s energy achievements in 2012 equate to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 340 million pounds, or an elimination of emissions from 28,000 cars, and saved the company more than $8 million, according to EPA.
EPA also pointed out Eastman increased the corporate energy budget from $7.2 million in 2011 to $10.5 million in 2012 based on the recognition that energy projects have a high rate of return with low risk.
The company also raised awareness of energy efficiency and EPA’s Energy Star resources in the community and among employees through an energy fair.
Winners were chosen from nearly 20,000 Energy Star partners, including manufacturers, retailers, public schools, hospitals, real estate companies, and home builders, for their long-term commitment to climate protection through greater energy efficiency.
Energy Star partners complete a application process demonstrating their commitment to the partnership and the environment.
“This year’s Energy Star Award winners have gone above and beyond to save energy and cut greenhouse gases,” EPA Acting Administrator Bob Perciasepe said in a prepared release. “Their commitment to superior energy efficiency not only makes these organizations valuable partners in our effort for a cleaner, healthier environment, but it also helps them reduce their day-to-day energy costs — an important feat for any organization.”
EPA and the U.S. Department of Energy recognized 118 awardees. Besides Eastman, recipients of the 2013 Energy Star Partner of the Year Award included Sears Holdings Corp., PepsiCo, JC Penney, Food Lion, USAA Real Estate, Loudoun County Public Schools in Virginia, and Toyota.
Seventy organizations were recognized as Partners of the Year in Sustained Excellence, while 41 were Partners of the Year.
Seven winners received awards in part for their superior efforts in the Home Performance with Energy Star program.
These organizations promote Energy Star products and practices in their own operations, in addition to providing efficient products and services to consumers and within their community, according to EPA.
EPA says that in 2012, Americans saved $24 billion on their energy bills and prevented greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those of 41 million vehicles through the Energy Star program. Since 1993, more than 4.5 billion Energy Star certified products have been sold.
For a complete list of winners, go to www.energystar.gov/awards.
For more about the program, go to www.energystar.gov.