Automaker launches ‘Green Dealer Recognition’ program
DETROIT – Certain Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac dealerships across the U.S. are showing customers their environmental credentials as part of a new “Green Dealer Recognition” program.
Participating dealers have proven track records in areas such as energy reduction, renewable energy use, water conservation efforts, recycling, on-site nature habitats and community outreach.
The program aligns with General Motors’ companywide efforts to reduce its environmental footprint and green its supply chain. GM designed the program to encourage dealers to continue these voluntary efforts and build a network for sharing best practices to help others begin or advance their sustainability journeys.
“Within just 24 hours of the program’s launch, 66 dealerships signed up and began evaluating their performance against our criteria,” said Kurt McNeil, GM vice president of U.S. Sales and Service. “We think customers should know all the behind-the-scenes efforts our dealerships make to leave a smaller footprint on their communities.”
To date, 180 dealers have requested access to complete the performance assessment. GM’s green dealer support team then validates and evaluates the submissions against specific criteria. A dealer’s continuous year-over-year improvement will lead to ongoing annual recognition. Eight dealers have achieved green dealer recognition for superior sustainability performance.
What drives these environmental upgrades and outreach activities? GM dealers cite four main reasons:
- Customers: Car buyers want more than fuel-efficient vehicles; they want to buy them from environmentally responsible companies. Sustainability provides a competitive edge.
- Operational efficiency: Light-emitting diode, or LED, lighting slashes energy bills and native plantings reduce water costs.
- Employee motivation: Sustainable practices give employees a sense of pride and more opportunities to engage with the community.
- Community: The actions align operations with the beliefs and values of the communities they serve.
“We were impressed by how willing dealers were to share their accomplishments with their peers,” said McNeil. “They wanted to be listed as a resource for other dealers in evaluating investment and return on various initiatives. When more people begin to operate in a sustainable way, everybody wins.”
GM shaped the initiative based on insights from dealers who participated in a pilot program. George Nunnally Chevrolet in Bentonville, Ark., encouraged the concept of sharing cost-effective activities that dealers could implement during remodels or new builds, such as installing LED lighting or capturing rainwater from a rooftop.
“Although financial savings is what started our environmental upgrades, we’ve found we have like-minded people in our community that really appreciate the effort we made,” said Gan Nunnally, general manager. “We’re seeing that through our service lane and our sales. These are people who have not previously driven a Chevrolet.”
General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM, TSX: GMM) and its partners produce vehicles in 30 countries, and the company has leadership positions in the world’s largest and fastest-growing automotive markets. GM, its subsidiaries and joint venture entities sell vehicles under the Chevrolet, Cadillac, Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling brands. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety, security and information services, can be found at http://www.gm.com.