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Go Green - Create Some Green: 7 Ways to Help the Environment and Your Bottom Line

November 01, 2010

Adopting sustainable business practices isn't only the right thing to do - it also makes financial sense.  You can reduce your dealership's operating costs with simple facility upgrades and everyday changes.  Here are seven ways to do just that:

  1. Do a cosmetic makeover.  Going green can be as easy as putting blinds on westward-facing windows to lower air conditioning bills and reducing water consumption with toilet inserts, low-flow aerators on faucets or pressure-reducing valves near the water meter.
     
  2. Invest in upgrades.  Replace drafty windows and install solar panels to help lower heating and air conditioning bills.  Ask us about the availability of federal stimulus money or tax credits for energy conservation projects initiated in 2010.
     
  3. Adopt green habits.  Ask your employees to help brainstorm changes to old habits.  Some ideas:  set energy-saver modes on computers, install motion detectors on lights, turn off equipment at day's end and file titles and liens electronically.
     
  4. Bring it outside.  Improve water retention by mulching flower beds.  Lower sprinkler consumption by as much as 10% with soil moisture sensors.
     
  5. Get an energy audit.  Most utility companies offer an energy consumption audit for a small fee.  They evaluate where you spend the most money - and what the expected financial payback will be for upgrades.  Your gas or electric company may also offer rebates or low-interest loans for improvements.
     
  6. Check with your manufacturer.  Ford launched a voluntary "Go Green" program to help dealers reduce energy consumption.  For a small fee, it assesses a dealer's energy use and recommends ways to improve efficiency.  Your factory may have a similar initiative.
     
  7. Keep it up.  Once you turn over a new (green) leaf, make sure you maintain it.  Track your progress by comparing utility bills year to year and make note of the savings, which mount up fast.
 

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