Honda is releasing its internal “Green Dealer” guide today to help automakers and other franchised businesses reduce their carbon footprints.
Developed in 2011 and refined over the last three years, the 93-page roadmap shows how to implement certain techniques to save the most energy. For instance, automating the thermostat and turning off the lights after business hours can save a dealership $7,000 annually and cut energy consumption by at least 10 percent, according to Honda.
The program is supposed to appeal to dealerships, medium-size commercial businesses and companies that want to encourage suppliers, partners and franchisees to be green, while positioning Honda as a leader in environmental issues.
“If you save energy, you save money, which dealers find appealing,” Steven Center, Honda’s vice president for environmental business development, told Automotive News this week.
The guide incentivizes Honda dealers to participate in a points-based contest where they can win silver, gold or platinum status.
Overall, the program lays out 171 available points across five categories: energy performance (130 points), water efficiency (17 points), site attributes (12 points), sustainable best practices (8 points), and waste reduction (4 points).
Facilities more than three years old can attain silver status by earning 30 points and reducing energy consumption by 10 percent. Earning 45 points and cutting consumption by 30 percent confers gold status, while accumulating 60 points and halving energy use earns platinum.
Facilities younger than three years old must earn 40, 55 and 70 points for silver, gold and platinum status. New builds and major renovations are based on Honda’s new build guidelines, while any dealership that’s LEED-certified by the U.S. Green Building Council -- a rare occurrence that goes above and beyond Honda’s guidelines -- is fast-tracked to platinum.
Honda’s facilities and environmental offices are working with 280 dealers who volunteered to participate. Together, Honda and Acura’s more-than 1,300 dealers in the U.S. consume 780 gigawatt hours of electricity and generate 593,000 tons of carbon dioxide annually. Honda has already awarded status to 45 dealerships -- 27 at the silver level, 11 at gold and seven at platinum.
Honda says each year the industry’s more than 17,000 U.S. dealerships consume 10,000 gigawatt hours of electricity and generate 7.7 million tons of carbon dioxide.
“It’s contagious,” Center said. “Saving money and doing good makes businesses tougher and more resilient.”
Download the guide at greendealer.honda.com.
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