New Balance

At a Glance


Retail and Apparel

Project Types

Commercial Energy Efficiency, Engagement and Behavior Change, Industrial Energy Efficiency, Sustainability and Energy Management Strategy




Yichun City

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Net Present Value:


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Annual kWh Savings:

805,000 kWh

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Annual CO2 Reductions:

423 metric tons


Ian Huang worked for a New Balance supplier CJ2 to identify energy-saving opportunities in the footwear manufacturing process and provide training for factory staff in smart energy management.


New Balance Athletics, Inc. (New Balance), a global athletic footwear and apparel company, enlisted Ian Huang to help its supplier CJ2 conduct an energy performance assessment and reduce energy use at its manufacturing site in Jiangxi, China. New Balance wanted the supplier to reduce its carbon emissions by at least 10 percent by 2018. New Balance’s supply chain sustainability team recently selected an evaluation tool and established a new energy management system guide for suppliers, but none of its suppliers in China had experience using the tool or integrating energy management systems with its current practice.


After working with the supplier to analyze its energy use and finish the self-assessment, Huang and the CJ2 Energy Team determined that fixing compressed air leaks and implementing high-efficiency motors or variable speed drives offered the most promising opportunities. These actions could not only reduce energy use significantly, but also enhance operational performance. In addition, Huang identified potential reasons why energy performance on specific production lines was falling behind others by interviewing the operations management team and visiting the factory floor frequently. Huang also introduced a regular training program to engage and educate site production leaders about raising energy performance.

Potential Impact

Huang’s project recommendations could save CJ2 800,000 kilowatt hours of electricity and 423 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually. The project also could generate $1.1 million CNY in net operational costs. At the end of the fellowship, CJ2 committed to periodic energy performance self-assessment and was on track in terms of implementing improvement projects. With this project, CJ2 could be able to accomplish New Balance’s energy management goals.

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