Japanese car maker Honda has been trying to popularize more eco-friendly and fuel-efficient vehicles for years now. It’s introduced various hybrid and all-electric models to the market and it has been involved in numerous initiatives to reduce its environmental impact, including setting new, stricter CO2 emission reduction targets for its manufacturing facilities around the globe.
The latest green initiative will involve dealerships authorized to sell Honda’s vehicles, as the company tries to make their buildings more energy efficient and cut costs.
“Green Business is Good Business”
Honda has launched a program to help dealers work on their environmental responsibility, releasing a “Green Dealer Guide,” which includes instructions on how to save energy and reduce CO2 emissions. Honda has compiled all of its knowledge and experience in the area of energy reduction into this 93-page roadmap, that, in addition to Honda dealerships, will be available for download to every other dealership across all brands, as well as suppliers and other partners, from the company’s website.
“In researching existing green building programs, we found there was nothing ideally suited to the unique operational needs of auto dealerships, especially existing dealer facilities. We decided to create a roadmap that any dealer can use to improve energy efficiency, reduce emissions and cut overhead costs,” said Steven Center, Vice President of American Honda’s Environmental Business Development Office. “The bottom line is that green business is good business, and this guide gives dealers the tools they need to become more efficient and profitable at the same time.”
Reducing consumption by up to 50%
The key tips for reducing energy consumption included in the guide have to do with climate control systems, water use, lighting, and using alternative energy sources. It advises dealers to install energy-efficient LED lighting with auto controls, skylights with daylight controls, energy efficient windows and doors, skylights with daylighting controls, and high-speed garage doors. Furthermore, it encourages implementation of rain capture systems to reduce potable water use, along with solar panels and efficient heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment, replacing the old equipment, in order to increase energy efficiency.
With these instructions, Honda addresses the areas in a dealership or some other similar commercial building that consume most of the energy, including lighting, heating and cooling.
The company says that with these measures, dealerships can reduce energy consumption by up to 50%.
To encourage dealers to implement these changes, Honda has created a contest, awarding points for each energy reduction solution they adopt. The points are divided into five categories: energy performance (130 points), water efficiency (17), site attributes (12 points), sustainable best practices (8), and waste reduction (4).
Depending on how many points they get, they can receive an Environmental Leadership Award from Honda, and get a silver, gold, or platinum status. Earning 40 points – which equals to a 10% reduction in energy consumption – brings a silver status, 55 points (30-percent savings) will give a dealership gold status, while in order to obtain the platinum status, they must earn at least 70 points (50-percent reduction).
This guide is part of Honda’s Green Dealer program, which started in 2012, and so far, it has helped 45 Honda and Acura dealerships reduce annual CO2 emissions by 5,000 tons, according to the Japanese car maker.