The U.K’s Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders and the Retail Motor Industry Federation are joining forces with the Carbon Trust to help vehicle retailers reduce their carbon-dioxide emissions by 55,115 tons (50,000 t) annually and also cut their annual energy bills by more than £6 million ($9.4 million).
The not-for-profit Carbon Trust provides support to help businesses and public institutions cut their CO2 emissions and save energy. Members will visit 30 dealers to identify opportunities to improve energy efficiency across the sector, the three groups say in a joint statement.
The dealerships, representing all major vehicle brands in the U.K., will be of varying sizes and types with differing energy spends and occupying buildings of various ages in order to be representative of the industry as a whole.
SMMT CEO Paul Everitt says the Carbon Trust’s findings will be collated into a report that will be available to the industry, giving top tips and best-practice guidance on cutting energy use and saving money.
It also will provide dealers with information on the business case for action as well as case studies.
“This is an important step in cutting the sector’s environmental footprint and demonstrating our commitment to lifetime sustainability,” Everitt says in a statement.
“Vehicle manufacturers have focused heavily on improving the efficiency of their production facilities and cutting the emissions of their products, making increasingly significant progress. This project will ensure the same attention is paid to retail sites, improving the overall environmental performance of the industry.”
Keith Horgan, Carbon Trust partnership-development manager, says CO2 emissions from U.K. auto dealerships total about 1.1 million tons (1 million t) a year. “We are confident this carbon footprint could soon be reduced by at least 5% through our partnership with SMMT and RMI,” he says in the statement.
“We also expect to find many more opportunities for the retail motor sector to reduce its energy use in the longer term and estimate that dealers could ultimately save £25 million ($39 million) or more on their energy bills by becoming more energy efficient.”
RMI Operations Manager Steve Latham says customers expect dealers to be energy efficient and to set a “green and clean” standard.
“We sell and promote many new cars with very efficient engines, producing lower CO2 emissions,” he says. “It is imperative we do everything possible to reduce energy consumption in our dealerships and reduce our costs in these difficult trading conditions.”