The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) and the Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMI) have joined forces with the Carbon Trust to encourage greater energy efficiency within the automotive retail network.
The project aims to help motor retailers reduce their carbon emissions by 50,000 tonnes each year and reduce their annual energy bills by more than £6 million.
The Carbon Trust will visit 30 dealers to identify opportunities to improve energy efficiency across the sector. The dealerships, representing all major car brands in the UK marketplace, will be of various sizes and types with differing energy spends and occupying buildings of different ages in order to be representative of the industry as a whole.
The Carbon Trust's findings will be collated to form a report that will be available to the whole sector, giving top tips and best practice guidance on cutting energy use and saving money. It will also provide dealers with information on the business case for action as well as case study examples.
"This is an important step in cutting the sector's environmental footprint and demonstrating our commitment to lifetime sustainability," said SMMT chief executive, Paul Everitt. "Vehicle manufacturers have focussed 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, partnership development manager at the Carbon Trust said, "Current carbon emissions from UK motor dealerships are around one million tonnes a year. We are confident that this carbon footprint could soon be reduced by at least five per cent through our partnership with SMMT and RMI.
"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 or more on their energy bills by becoming more energy efficient."
Steve Latham, operations manager for the RMI said, "These days our customers expect us to be energy efficient and to set a green and clean standard. Today we sell and promote many new cars with very efficient engines, producing lower CO2 emissions, therefore it is imperative we do everything possible to reduce energy consumption in our dealerships and reduce our costs in these difficult trading conditions."