At Axalta, we are committed to reducing our energy consumption throughout our global operations to minimize our environmental footprint.
We have focused on incorporating energy efficiency measures and process improvements across our operations in the last two years. As a result of the investment efforts in energy efficiency, our site in Wuppertal, Germany achieved an ISO 50001 certification for energy management. We also have invested in systems that enable us to track our environmental impacts across all sites and provide opportunities for us to manage and mitigate these impacts. To ensure we minimize our footprint, we have set two goals aimed at reducing our energy use across our operations.
By year-end 2022, reduce energy use by 5 percent (normalized to production) from a baseline year of 2017.
The direct energy consumption in our operations is from the amount of fuel we use to generate energy on-site. The fuels used are primarily natural gas, propane and fuel distilled from crude oil. In 2017, Axalta consumed 1.6 million GJ of direct energy, which is a 3 percent decrease relative to 2015. This reduction is primarily due to increased efficiency in our operations, even as our operations grew through the acquisitions we made in 2016 and 2015.
Indirect energy consumption is from the energy we purchase and use at all our facilities and offices globally. This energy includes electricity and heat that we buy from utilities. We also have installed solar panels at a number of our facilities globally reducing our demand from local utilities. Our global operations consumed 1 million GJ of indirect energy in 2017, an increase of 8 percent from 2015.
At Axalta, we use energy intensity to track our energy use with respect to our production, a key variable that affects our energy use. Our energy intensity is measured as gigajoules of direct and indirect energy per metric ton of production. While our production has increased by 6 percent from 2015, our energy intensity has decreased by 4 percent.
We recently opened our Savli site in the Gujarat State in India to increase our capability to produce high bake coatings for the transportation sector. The new building at the site incorporates LEED design principles and has technology that provides lean automation, resulting in lower energy use. The manufacturing center features LED lighting, improved insulation, environmentally responsible refrigerant gases and emission control devices that help reduce our emissions. The warehouse located on the site has numerous skylight panels to reduce the electricity requirements during the day. The facility also includes features to improve the indoor air quality such as VOC emission control devices and air curtains to reduce the dust that may come into the plant. The new technologies installed at the site will save 1,062,830 kWh annually, which is equivalent to the energy needed to power 142 average U.S. homes for an entire year.
Our Guarulhos operations center in Brazil implemented process improvements in 2016 that enhanced our production while providing energy savings. The facility installed the latest generation equipment to optimize production of small, custom mixed batches of coatings. We also switched to a low-cost, free market energy provider that utilizes solar and wind generated electricity. These improvements will provide combined reductions of 1,563 metric tons of CO2 emissions per year, which is equivalent to removing 335 cars from the road for an entire year.
The Wuppertal, Germany operations center recently consolidated lab operations and manufacturing into one site. As part of this consolidation, there were numerous processes improved through the installation of equipment such as heat exchangers, which improves our energy efficiency during manufacturing. As a result, the new equipment will save approximately 13,900 MWh over the next 15 years, enough energy to power 806 average U.S. homes for one year.
A key focus in the management of our environmental impacts is the continued evaluation of our company’s greenhouse gas (GHG) and volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions. We continue to improve our internal process for measuring and reporting of this data at the site level. We are committed to reducing our emissions globally through implementing energy efficiency measures and emissions control equipment where appropriate.
By year-end 2022, reduce Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions from operations by 5 percent (normalized to production) from a baseline year of 2017.
By year-end 2022, reduce VOC emissions from operations by 3 percent (normalized to production) from a baseline year of 2017.
Our direct GHG emissions (Scope 1) from our global operations in 2017 totaled 85,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e), which is a 2.8 percent decrease from our Scope 1 emissions in 2015 due to increased efficiency in our operations. In 2017, our indirect GHG emissions (Scope 2) were 207,718 metric tons of CO2 which is an increase of 12.2 percent from 2015.
We also quantify our GHG emissions as an intensity (metric tons of CO2e emissions for Scope 1 and 2 per ton of production). In 2017, our GHG intensity increased by 1.6 percent relative to 2015, but decreased 4.6 percent relative to 2016.
Axalta also monitors and reports other air emissions such as volatile organic compounds (VOC), nitrous oxides (NOx), sulfur oxides (SOx), hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) and particulate matter (PM). These emissions arise from our processes and products. We saw an increase in our VOC and NOx emissions by 1.4 percent and 26 percent respectively, since 2015. However, SOx emissions dropped to 3.74 metric tons, which is a significant 85 percent drop from 2015 emissions.
We continue to implement monitoring systems to track and control our VOC emissions in our manufacturing locations. For example, in our Savli site in India, we have installed VOC emission control devices, which improves the air quality for our employees. Our equipment upgrades this past year have also enhanced our ability to monitor and reduce NOx and SOx emissions.
In 2017, we began to incorporate data from the operations of our recent acquisitions, which enhances our ability to make a fully accurate comparison of our operations over the past three years. However, the relatively small changes and declines in our emissions, despite the growth of operations, demonstrate that we are achieving higher efficiency and progressing toward reaching our goals.