Acuña, Mexico – A cutting-edge solar energy installation has come to life atop two manufacturing plants of Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems (Bendix) in Acuña, Mexico. This solar project, the first of its kind in the region, is set to generate over 2.1 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of energy annually, aiding Bendix’s commitment to sustainability.
Composed of approximately 2,600 photovoltaic panels, these solar arrays are projected to provide roughly 11% of the necessary energy for each plant. This initiative is expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 850 tons annually, or about 13%, thereby curbing the plants’ reliance on the local power grid and shrinking Bendix’s carbon footprint.
Inaugurated at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on April 27, this $1 million project commenced operation on December 15, 2022. The solar arrays’ annual output matches the energy consumption of around 100 homes for a full year. It also equals a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to over 2 million miles driven by an average gasoline-powered passenger vehicle, based on data from the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
Bill Schubert, Bendix’s Director of Environmental and Sustainability, commented on the company’s focus on reducing carbon emissions at their largest manufacturing campus in Acuña. He noted, “These solar panels are among several climate action projects furthering that goal.”
Bendix, a North American leader in active safety, air management, and braking solutions for commercial vehicles, is a subsidiary of Munich-based Knorr-Bremse. The company has followed its parent company’s sustainability strategies over the past decade. Solar projects, including the recent arrays in Acuña and a previous installation in Huntington, Indiana, in 2021, are central to Bendix’s climate strategy.
Bendix Acuña, one of Knorr-Bremse’s largest electricity consumers and carbon emitters, was founded in 1987. It features three manufacturing facilities, a logistics center, and a site under construction. The company’s climate strategy, implemented in collaboration with Knorr-Bremse, aims to halve CO2 emissions by 2030, using 2018 as a baseline. This has set the stage for impressive sustainability efforts at the Acuña campus.
Maria Gutierrez, Bendix’s Senior Director of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG), praised the positive impact of the Acuña solar array. She said, “It will contribute a 2.4% decrease to our North American carbon footprint, and that’s significant progress.”
The State of Coahuila recognized Bendix Acuña’s efforts at the April 27 ribbon-cutting for the solar project. The company’s plants earned Industria Verde (Green Industry) certification from the state environmental protection office. This certification, valid for two years, acknowledges the company’s strides in increasing energy efficiency, utilizing green energy sources, reducing the site’s carbon footprint, and promoting sustainable consumption.
Bendix endorses the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with five key SDGs at the core of its longstanding sustainability efforts. Over the past seven years, Bendix’s sustainability efforts, including renewable energy purchases and offsetting, led to a reduction in energy consumption by more than 16 million kWh.
With around 1,800 employees, Bendix’s 412,000-square-foot Acuña campus specializes in manufacturing, remanufacturing, and assembly across a wide range of products. Known for its exceptional production quality, the campus is one of Bendix’s fastest-growing manufacturing sites.