In celebration of Earth Day, Johnson Controls, Milwaukee, a provider of solutions that increase energy efficiency in buildings, released its Top Earth Day Champions list to highlight organizations saving the carbon equivalent of 45,000 acres of pine forests through energy efficiency and renewable energy projects at their facilities. That’s the interesting part — which organizations and vertical markets made the list. Schools, a laboratory, a United States Army facility, even a waste water treatment plant make the list.

Carbon emissions from building energy use are predicted to grow faster than any other sector in the next 25 years, according to the U.S. Green Building Council, making building efficiency critically important for the protection of the environment. Here are Johnson Controls’ 2012 Top Earth Day Champions and the equivalent amount of carbon dioxide emissions they are saving annually through projects with Johnson Controls.

Johnson Controls' Top Earth Day Champions


Carbon Reduction (metric tons)

Equivalent Pine Tree Acres

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (Oak Ridge, Tenn.) 49,135 10,477
University of Massachusetts Amherst (Amherst, Mass.)  37,261 7,945
Aberdeen Proving Ground (Aberdeen, Md.)  24,499 5,224
Prince George's County Public Schools (Upper Marlboro, Md.) 23,805 5,076
Northern Michigan University (Marquette, Mich.) 22,689 4,838
 Indiana Department of Correction (Indianapolis, Ind.) 21,649 4,616
Baltimore City Back River Waste Water Treatment Plant (Baltimore, Md.) 16,641 3,548

Oak Ridge       Y-12 National Security Complex (Oak Ridge, Tenn.)

 12,857  2,741


Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Oak Ridge, Tenn. tops the list with its annual reduction of 49,135 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions. In 2008, ORNL replaced a natural gas steam plant with a wood gasification biomass system, reducing its carbon footprint and cutting fossil fuel consumption by 80 percent. The Champions earned a spot on the list by making their facilities more efficient using a variety of measures, including: utilizing building management systems to optimize energy and operational efficiency, installing distributed generation and renewable energy technology, using more efficient lighting, and updating heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.

"These organizations have already made significant environmental improvements while at the same time attacking energy waste and reducing operational costs," said Dave Myers, president of Johnson Controls Building Efficiency. "We recognize those who have committed to making their organizations more sustainable, their facilities more efficient, and their occupants more comfortable. Importantly, each one of these projects will also have strong financial paybacks."

Since January, 2000, Johnson Controls energy performance contracting projects have saved nearly 18 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, equivalent to that saved by 3.5 million acres of pine forests, and generated savings of $6.5 billion in North America alone. With performance contracting, savings in energy consumption from facility upgrades pay for the project over the term of the contract. If the savings are not realized, Johnson Controls pays the difference between the value of the measured and verified consumption and the guaranteed consumption under the contract.

About Johnson Controls: Johnson Controls is a global diversified technology and industrial leader serving customers in more than 150 countries. Its 162,000 employees create products, services and solutions to optimize energy and operational efficiencies of buildings; lead-acid automotive batteries and advanced batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles; and interior systems for automobiles. Johnson Controls’ commitment to sustainability dates back to its roots in 1885, with the invention of the first electric room thermostat. In 2012, Corporate Responsibility Magazine recognized Johnson Controls as the No. 5 company in its annual "100 Best Corporate Citizens" list. For additional information, visit