GE Adopts New Technology to Reduce Carbon Footprint

June 07, 2011

GE Appliances & Lighting is the first full-line appliance manufacturer in the U.S. to adopt a foam-blowing agent, known as cyclopentane, that significantly reduces the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of the insulating process in the manufacturing of its top-freezer refrigerators in Decatur, AL. By using cyclopentane, the facility’s GHG emissions from the foam-blowing process will be reduced by 99 percent, compared to previous process.
“GE Appliances & Lighting is looking at every aspect of environmental stewardship for our appliances—from manufacturing processes to more responsible product end-of-life management,” said Paul Surowiec, general manager, refrigeration, GE Appliances & Lighting.
By transitioning to cyclopentane as the foam-insulating agent for GE’s 16-, 17- and 18-cu.-ft. top-freezer refrigerators, its Decatur plant will reduce GHG emissions from the foam-insulating process by more than 400,000 metric tons of CO2-equivalent annually. This is equal to the annual emissions of 78,000 cars on U.S. roads.

GE’s investments in more sustainable manufacturing will also help to create jobs in the U.S., and the transition to cyclopentane and other product developments are expected to create 25 new jobs at the Decatur site. The company also plans to invest a total of $59 million in the Decatur manufacturing facility to create a Center of Excellence for top-freezer refrigerators and more sustainable manufacturing. This total investment will help retain more than 1,000 jobs.
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