A bright idea CITIZENSHIP

Medtronic is reducing energy use and saving millions with LED bulbs.


light bulb icon

With the flick of a wrist, Medtronic regional facilities director, Chris Cambre, unscrews a fluorescent light bulb in the assembly area of a Memphis, Tennessee manufacturing facility. Moments later, he’s installed a new LED light — which lasts three times longer and uses 30 percent less electricity than fluorescent bulbs.

Throughout 2018, Chris, along with 20 other facility managers, helped Medtronic implement LED bulb replacement projects around the globe. Combined, they represent the single largest energy efficiency project the company has completed to date, converting over 150,000 lights to high-efficiency LED bulbs. The effort is projected to save an estimated 30 million kWh of electricity annually.

“It was an easy decision to switch. The retrofit takes place with virtually no disruption to the site and in most cases pays for itself in about a year,” says Chris, who manages sites in Florida, Tennessee, and Texas. “We saved a lot of energy in our region, but more impressive is the overall savings made possible by this strategic global investment.”

Thanks to projects like the global LED initiative, Medtronic already exceeded its 2020 environmental goal to achieve a 15% reduction in energy use per million dollars of revenue compared to a fiscal year 2013 baseline. 


light bulb and ray icon

The switch to LEDs started in 2017 when vice president of global facilities and engineering, Jim Driessen, and vice president of operations excellence/engineering project management, Tom Jones saw an opportunity to reduce the company’s energy use through more efficient lighting. Working with the regional facility managers, they identified candidate sites, conducted a financial analysis, and ultimately developed an installation schedule designed to minimize operational disruptions.

“Early on, we realized including multiple sites would maximize our purchasing power and accelerate the return on investment. It was a smart move that illustrates the mission of our Facilities team: to provide expert guidance on managing site operations, including minimizing the company’s energy footprint,” says Jim.