Dealers are to be encouraged to be more energy efficient in a new initiative uniting the the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), Retail Motor Industry Federation and the Carbon Trust.
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, a not-for-profit company that provides specialist support to help businesses and public sector bodies cut their carbon emissions and save energy, will visit 30 dealers to identify opportunities to improve energy efficiency across the sector.
The dealerships, representing all major car brands in the UK, 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 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 £25m or more on their energy bills by becoming more energy efficient.”