Green Dealer Support

Energy Star Challenge
August 24, 2012, 11:57 am
Filed under: Going Green | Tags: , , , , , ,

Each year in the US, commercial buildings use about $200 billion worth of  electricity and natural gas. It is estimated that about 30% of that is wasted. It is also estimated that 1/3 of the wasted energy could be saved by making changes that do not cost anything. That means $20 billion worth of energy could be saved with a minimal cost.

The Energy Star Challenge is a program that designed to bring attention to these saving and others that can be accomplished with a relative low investment and with a high ROI. When energy is wasted a power plant somewhere burns fossil fuel to generate electricity and emits emissions into the environment unnecessarily.

Green Dealer Support uses The Energy Star Challenge as a tool to help dealers reduce energy cost and communicate their efforts and successes to employees, customers and the community. The challeng encourages participants to; 1) track energy usage, 2) plan for changes and improvements, 3) implement and measure those changes and 4) communicate the energy saving ideas to employees, customers and the community.

Getting set up on The Energy Star Challenge at a dealership is not difficult. The first step is to sign up for the challenge. This gets you listed but does not make you active. To be active you then must submit your story. Energy Star provides you an outline of possible information to include in your story. A typical story includes a few paragraphs that talk about the things you have done to reduce energy usage and possibly what your future plans are.


Energy Star Products
August 14, 2012, 9:01 am
Filed under: Going Green | Tags: , , , ,

Energy Star products were first introcuced in the mid 1990’s with a preference toward office products. Monitors and computers were the first labeled products. By the early 2000’s Home Electronics saw its start with the Energy Star label. Since then many additional items now carry the Energy Star label with over 60 product categories now covered. The ENERGY STAR label is now on major appliances, office equipment, lighting, home electronics, and more. EPA has also extended the label to cover new homes and commercial and industrial buildings.

Through its partnerships with private and public sector organizations, ENERGY STAR delivers the technical information and tools that organizations and consumers need to choose energy-efficient solutions and best management practices. One of thos Energy Star Services and Product Providers is Green Dealer Support. Their stated focus is to help Automobile Dealers become “greener”. Energy Star plays a signifiant role in helping them achieve that goal.

 Americans, with the help of ENERGY STAR, prevented 210 million metric tons of Green House Gas (GHG) emissions1 in 2011 alone— equivalent to the annual emissions from 41 million vehicles—and reduced their utility bills by $23 billion.

Energy Star puublished the following chart to show these saving:







 Some specific dealership used products that can be Energy Stat rated are:

Water heaters and Furnaces




Copiers and Printers








These products and many more have an Energy Star rating. Click here to go to the Energy Star list of rated products. Energy efficiency should always be part of every purchasing practice/policy.

What Does Green Mean to You?
August 6, 2012, 6:31 pm
Filed under: Going Green | Tags: , , , ,

Let’s play word association – I say “green” and at least some dealers might say “climate change” and then something very nasty about Al Gore. Other dealers when they hear “green” in context to dealership operations think the following:

  • The need for energy independence
  • ROI – by lowering of ongoing dealership expenses
  • A marketing opportunity to differentiate your store from the competition 

There are also some additional practical reasons to check out the “green/sustainable” movement slowly taking place at many stores: 

Recruiting Gen Y: Most dealers struggle with recruiting a younger generation of employees; whether you feel they are right or wrong, they are very sensitive to the damage they feel has been done to their environment. Research says Gen Y’ers gravitate to work – and buy – from companies that have a track record of good environmental practices. For this generation that grew up with recycling and a true concern about the air they breathe, the “green” topic is not a debate, but a value. Ignoring or discounting the largest generation that will be buying your vehicles for as long as you’re a dealer is a perilous decision. 

Check Your Inventory: By the end of 2012 OEM’s will have 80 alternative energy vehicles available for sale (hybrids; electric; fuel cell).  Demand for fuel-efficient vehicles will also remain high as gas prices will invariably rise, government pressure to achieve higher CAFÉ standards will only continue,  and a crop of customers who demand high mileage vehicles due to their environmental beliefs will continue to grow. So, you’ll be selling “green”, but will you be acting “green”? 

Differentiating Your Dealership:  For those of you who have built or significantly remodeled a facility during the last three years,  you’ve added “sustainability factors” that you probably wouldn’t have dreamed of a few years ago. The decision to build a “greener” facility was probably a combination of expense reduction and good citizenship. The tough part, building a new facility, is done.  Now that you’ve made the investment in “green technologies”,  have you developed a marketing plan to further differentiate your store (s) from the competition?  This is particularly important with the advent of Internet shopping – allowing you to move beyond “commodity pricing” through differentiation.  Green Dealer Support provides the tools and help to customize communications that dealers can use to differentiate themselves by focusing on their “green” operations. Click here to learn more about what we do.

Green Tips
August 3, 2012, 6:23 am
Filed under: Going Green | Tags: , , , , ,

Green Tips that can be useful in your business or at home are always good reminders. From time to time we plan to publish a few items that you might find useful. So many these tips are not brand new but items you may have heard about before but just not put them into action.

A great website by Consumers Energy that has a lot of useful ideas that will help as you move down the road of being “green”. Click on this list Consumers published of 8 Environmental Tips. At the bottom of their list they have several really great links that lead you to an almost endless array of things to do at home or at work to become “greener”.

A couple of the tips that hit home from the Consumers list are very car dealer related.

  • Recycling automotive products such as oils and batteries is of course something you are probably already doing. A periodic examination of that process to confirm that you are using the right vendor and or process is a good practice. This will confirm that the recycle process carried out by the vendor meets your expectations. A second step here is to establish yourself as a local recycler of these items for your customers or anyone else in the community. By marketing your willingness to recycle automotive related items regardless of who brings them in you are providing a community service and in many cases able to make money from the recyclable item and generate business.
  • Conserve paper is a great car dealership project that has almost endless possibilities. The potentially large volume of paper generated by a dealership means that every department can get involved. The cost come from generating the paper in the first place and then disposing of that paper after it is used. Consider things such as two-sided printing and copying. Electronic RO’s and other documents can not only decrease the use of paper but create other efficiencies that save time and money.

Sorting through all of the ideas that a business can apply to its daily operation that applies to all departments in the dealership can be a daunting task . That is why Green Dealer Support tries to help by bringing organization and doing a lot of the leg work for a dealership through our Assessment and Implementation processes. Click here to learn more about Green Dealer Support.

If you have a “green”  best practice that relates to a business or that can be used at home and would like to share it  click on this link to add the idea to the comment box. We will be sure to add it to a future blog for everyone to use.

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