ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. -- "It's operationally necessary, it's fiscally prudent, and it's mission essential for us to make sure that we have energy security and can perform our primary mission for the United States," Katherine Hammack, Assistant Secretary of the Army (Installations, Energy & Environment).

Answering Hammack's call, Army sites across the country continue to adopt practical and innovative strategies for energy reduction and security. In Pennsylvania, Scranton Army Ammunition Plant continues to lead the way in environmental and energy efforts.

A 2012 recipient of the Secretary of Defense Environmental Award for Sustainability-Industrial Installation, Scranton charges forward as a forerunner in superior energy performance.

Scranton produces large-caliber projectiles for multiple services with their artillery projectiles and mortar production processes entailing significant metal forging on a daily basis. And commercially, Scranton AAP adds hydraulic fracturing elbow joints and tool joints for the natural gas and oil industries to their list of capabilities.

In keeping with their campaign to reduce energy consumption, Scranton AAP and its operating contractor (General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems-GD-OTS, Scranton Operations) embarked on an aggressive campaign to achieve ISO 50001:2011 status which denotes superior operations in energy management.

ISO 50001:2011 specifies requirements for establishing, implementing, maintaining and improving an energy management system, whose purpose is to enable an organization to follow a systematic approach in achieving continual improvement of energy performance, including energy efficiency, energy use and consumption.

For Jake Laughlin, energy program manager, Joint Munitions Command, ISO 50001 certification sets the bar providing a pathway to structured improvement for JMC sites like Scranton. "ISO 50001 inducts a continuous improvement structure (Plan, Do, Check, Act) that will add efficiencies and eliminate waste; which reduces overhead and increases product savings," he said.

In keeping with the 'plan, do, check and act" structure: Scranton took to task preparing for the step-by-step certification process.

Scranton and GD-OTS reviewed all production and facility processes. The certification audit took four days and included several plant tours, document and process reviews. The audit focused on the conservation improvements to the facility's significant energy uses: Rotary furnaces, forge presses, heat treat furnaces, cooling towers, boilers, air compressors and lighting.

According to Richard Hansen, commander's representative, Scranton AAP, "they examined processes consuming the most energy such as furnaces, forge presses, cooling water usage, compressors for compressed air, and electricity and lighting to ensure their processes were in fact providing an energy savings. The program is based on energy intensity which is normalized using a multiple linear regression model."

Specifically, GD-OTS Scranton made key changes all achieving more than 15 percent in energy savings:

• Boiler replacements -- 20 percent reduction in natural gas
• Cooling tower upgrades -- 33 percent reduction in electricity
• Forge furnace upgrade -- 25 percent reduction in natural gas
• Heat treat furnace burner upgrades -- over 25 percent reduction in natural gas
• Hydraulic pump compensators on forge presses -- 15 percent reduction in electricity
• Lighting upgrades -- 53 percent reduction in electricity

However by contrast, "SCAAP received hardly any Production Base Support, PBS, funds in the 1990s, "said JaMarlon Figgs, Industrial Preparedness Division, Joint Munitions Command.

"But since 2003, the PBS program has invested $65 million dollars into the facility. The funds invested in SCAAP corrected infrastructure deficiencies, improved/modernized production capabilities and capacities, and improved the quality of the work environment. The investments have helped SCAAP to become a more efficient facility," he continued.

Now, in addition to ISO 50001 certification, Scranton Army Ammunition Plant is a Superior Energy Performer (SEP) Certified Partner, which requires a facility to achieve a 25 percent improvement in energy performance.

The SEP Standard ANSI/MSE 50021 is a rigorous performance -based standard analyzing a facility's energy intensity reductions and validating actual energy performance. Scranton/GD-OTS achieved the gold level with an 11.9 percent reduction, becoming only the fifth organization worldwide to achieve the gold SEP performance level.

Following the energy reduction campaign, a very different Scranton production area emerged.

According to Hansen, you can walk the production floor and see "newer more modern equipment which translates to a more efficient manufacturing process".

And for a site meeting the goal of the Army Materiel Command to equip the nation's forces, Scranton and General Dynamics' innovative efforts distinguish it within the enterprise.

"It tells folks within AMC and within the Ammunition Enterprise, and just as important within the private sector, that we are leaders in energy efficiency which translates to our ability to produce quality products cheaper," said Hansen.

Scranton leaders implement changes and improvements to maintain standards but also to meet the requirements set forth by senior Army leadership.

In taking steps toward energy reduction and improvement, GD-OTS considered the goals set in Executive order 13423 (strengthening Federal environmental; energy; and transportation management) and Executive Order 13514 (Federal leadership in environmental; energy; and economic performance).

To maintain the savings and observe energy use, Scranton now also boasts new detailed meters.

Operating contractor, GD-OTS, Scranton Operations is the first organization in Pennsylvania and first defense contractor to achieve the ISO 50001:2001 and SEP certifications.

Scranton Army Ammunition Plant is a subordinate installation of Joint Munitions Command. JMC operates a nationwide network of conventional ammunition manufacturing plants and storage depots, and provides on-site ammunition experts to U.S. combat units wherever they are stationed or deployed.