Thomas Built Buses will add energy-efficient heating systems and LED lighting in its offices and manufacturing facilities. Seen here is the Saf-T-Liner C2 plant.

Thomas Built Buses will add energy-efficient heating systems and LED lighting in its offices and manufacturing facilities. Seen here is the Saf-T-Liner C2 plant.

HIGH POINT, N.C. — Thomas Built Buses is expanding its eco program with a $3 million investment in energy-saving initiatives over the next two to three years.

The changes include energy-efficient heating systems and a $2 million investment to replace lighting fixtures with new energy-efficient LED lighting in the school bus OEM’s corporate offices and manufacturing plants.

Also, Thomas Built has invested in new hybrid security vehicles and plug-in electric pool vehicles that have the capacity to operate completely on electric power for local travel.

“While each of these initiatives may seem trivial, together they make a huge impact,” said Caley Edgerly, president and CEO of Thomas Built Buses. “In fact, lighting upgrades alone will save $475,000 per year in energy usage. These new initiatives will help us to further reduce our carbon footprint and become even cleaner in our operations.”

The new investment follows other sustainability initiatives that the company has embarked on over the past eight years.

In 2011, Thomas Built Buses achieved zero-waste-to-landfill operations, which means that everything received or produced by the company is used, reused, recycled, or sold, and nothing is sent to landfills. According to the company, that commitment decreased waste from more than 1,100 pounds per bus to zero waste being shipped to landfills.

In 2010, Thomas Built partnered with Duke Energy under a 25-year contract to create a photovoltaic solar field, which produces about 389 kilowatts of renewable energy for the Duke Energy power grid.

Also, all of Thomas Built’s manufacturing facilities are ISO 14001 certified, meeting an internationally recognized set of standards for environmental performance.

“With these new initiatives plus our zero-waste-to-landfill facility, solar panels, and a growing list of alternative-fuel and low-emissions school buses, we are proud to manufacture some of the best school buses on the road, all while preserving the environment and resources provided to us,” Edgerly said.

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