The turning point for the Mirrors Shanghai division came in 2017, when saving money and protecting the environment became top priorities for the Magna facility’s 442 employees.

That development was triggered by the decision to increase plant capacity by producing previously outsourced parts in- house, and led to the creation of an energy-management team whose first task was to set up a sustainability action plan.

“We began by mapping out the whole picture and then setting targets,” said James Yuan, the division’s equipment and facility EHS manager.  “We studied energy consumption and where there was room for improvement, and then set a goal for reducing it.”

The team came up with an energy-efficient formula based on Mafact principles.

“We calculated how much money was spent on energy compared to sales revenue, and adjusted from there,” Yuan explained.

A series of improvements followed that decreased electricity costs alone by 21 percent. The changes included:

-Installing time-delay switches for toilets and lighting in the office building

-Purchasing an energy-efficient air compressor to replace the leaky one that was more than 20 years old

-Purchasing two all-electric molding machines to replace inefficient hydraulic-injection ones

-Improving waste gas treatment that used diesel fuel, a $45,000 savings that also resulted in improved air quality that exceeds national regulations

The team, which meets monthly, also set up guidelines for shop-floor workers that help to build awareness about saving energy, including the proper temperature settings for the plant’s air-conditioning system.

“We’ve made progress,” Yuan said. “Now we want to share what we’ve learned with other Magna plants that have similar situations


Starts at Home

James Yuan’s dedication to sustainability begins at his Shanghai home, where he has installed all-LED lights, and replaced all of his appliances with high-efficiency ones. His family of four also recycles and sorts its trash into specific categories to comply with city regulations.

His 15-year-old son Hanson is “very conscious” about protecting the planet, according to Yuan.

“He’s learned a lot about sustainability at school,” Yuan said. “There’s a park near our home, and when we take a walk, Hanson picks up trash and recyclables and puts them in the proper bins. He is very aware about sustainability, and doing the right thing.”