GM has launched a “Green Dealer Recognition” program for Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac dealerships across the US. 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 efforts.
Within 24 hours of the program’s launch, 66 dealerships signed up and began evaluating their performance against the criteria, said Kurt McNeil, GM vice president of US Sales and Service.
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.
GM dealers cite four main reasons driving these environmental upgrades and outreach activities:
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.
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. We’re seeing that through our service lane and our sales. These are people who have not previously driven a Chevrolet.—Gan Nunnally, general manage