2018 Sheila Sheridan Award for Sustainable Facility Operations and Management

In addition to being an ESUS Advisory Group member and prolific author, Bill Conley led the Yamaha facilities team to significant achievements in sustainability, energy and operational efficiency.  Following is a summary of the activities that made this team the 2018 Sheila Sheridan Award for Sustainable Facility Operations and Management recipient;

The Cypress, Ca. facility of Yamaha Motor Corporation serves as the national headquarters for Yamaha Motors, US (YMUS). It is a multi-functional facility with administrative offices, Research & Development, warehousing and is the home of the Yamaha racing team. In response to the diversity of the customer base and the ever-increasing emphasis on sustainability and the role of facility management in the built environment, the Facility Department underwent a dramatic, self-directed transformation, culminating in the recognition of a successful sustainability program that has fully emerged in the past years. 

This change entailed focusing on sustainable operations and resource management- energy, water, materials; environmental health & safety; and bottom line impacts.  The FM team focus on efficiency and cost-savings changed the department stance from being embedded in a reactive mode to being able to assume a more proactive role in the facility. This led to a renewed sense of dedication and fulfillment while enhancing pride of ownership for the facility.

The Department coordinates maintenance in the facility as well as implementing and upgrading HVAC systems, lighting and water conveyances, adhering to the concept of Resource Management. This has resulted in the reduction of energy consumption, water usage and a marked decrease in customer complaints. 

A lighting retrofit has led to better lighting quality, while the improved controls and the replacement of over 3000 fluorescent lamps with LED lamps have contributed to a 60% decrease in lighting energy consumption. The proper use and monitoring of a Building Automation System (BAS) has allowed the team to customize climate ranges and air flow, leading to a more comfortable environment. The department also implemented schedule changes in the operation of the chillers and HVAC units. Warm-up modes in the winter and pre-cooling in the summer has mitigated energy usage. The Department has witnessed a steady decrease in energy consumption (in 2017 the facility used 40% less electricity compared to 2014- the baseline year and 20% from 2016). Energy savings has exceeded $200,000 over the last three years, with savings of over $35,000 in the last 12 months. 

With over 25 acres on the site, irrigation of the turf utilized a lot of water. A turf reclamation project was implemented. Almost 100,000 square feet of turf was replaced with drought-tolerant plants, supplied by a drip irrigation system, along with a quarter mile decomposed granite walking path, and additional softscapes that minimized water use. In 2017 the facility used 60% less water than 2014, 10% less water than 2016. The facility has realized a savings of over $70,000 in water savings since conservation efforts were implemented.

A formal recycling program was introduced to reduce waste being delivered to landfill. The facility current diversion rate has increased from 61% to 72%. The goal is to first meet the State’s recommendation of 75% diversion and continue efforts to become a zero-waste generator over the next 3 years.

The Facility Department is proud of its accomplishments and wants to continue to see energy and water consumption decrease and waste diversion rates grow. Their operational costs per square foot have gone down from $2.09 per square foot to $1.32 per square foot (a 37% reduction) and they expect to see further improvement.