In general, automakers are on track to measure their greenhouse gas emissions. But a recent Detroit symposium on the topic hosted by the Automotive Industry Action Group, an association devoted to sharing noncompetitive information that strengthens the North American supply base, showed that suppliers have questions about what's expected of them.
AIAG has had two webinars, including one with 200 participants, on how to measure greenhouse gases at a supplier. The Sept. 28 symposium drew fewer attendees than that, but "the OEMs haven't sent out the letters yet," said one AIAG staffer.
Letters from automakers that haven't yet told their suppliers to supply data on greenhouse gas emissions are expected to go out late this year or early next.
General Motors Co. already tracks emissions at its 326 plants in 34 countries. It has set up an online utility data management system, said Alfred Hildreth, energy manager at GM.
The system can track energy use, and thus emissions -- sometimes down to the department, such as the paint shop or body shop.
The system can handle numerous languages, including Korean and Portuguese. Data are input either directly from utility meters or when utility invoices are approved and paid. The 5,000 meters tied into the system include those that measure electricity or steam that GM sells to other facilities.
Hildreth said the system allows GM to track energy used, or carbon dioxide emitted, per unit produced or per revenue dollar. The company is participating in the EPA's auto industry benchmarking study as a way to monitor the automaker's performance.