For this Earth Day, Manheim celebrated by sharing tips for dealers to increase their green efforts, as well as announcing new sustainability initiatives of its own. Cox Conserves, the company’s national sustainability program founded in 2007 by Cox Enterprises Chairman Jim Kennedy, has set ambitious goals of achieving zero waste to landfill status by 2024 and being carbon and water neutral by 2034.
As a Cox company, protecting the environment is at the heart of Manheim’s operations. For dealers who are looking to increase their own sustainability efforts, Cox Enterprises Director of Sustainability, Stephanie Valdez-Streaty, offers these tips:
Upgrade to energy-efficient light bulbs: Want to cut lighting energy consumption by up to 90%? Invest in energy efficient lighting. LED lighting lasts longer than traditional incandescent lighting and can use up to 90% less energy. LEDs also emit less heat, reducing air conditioning needs.
Let sunlight power your dealership: Installing Photovoltaic (PV) solar systems is beneficial for the environment and can also save money. In many cases, energy costs are a dealership’s third highest operating expense. Consider installing solar panels to power all—or even part of—your business. Interested dealers should note that there are federal investment tax credits of up to 26% of the cost of the solar investment for eligible companies. In addition, many states, counties, municipalities and utilities offer other incentives for solar. Check with your local government for availability.
Place recycling bins in key areas: Put up recycling bins throughout the building, including the showroom, customer service areas, office and break room areas, as well as vehicle service areas. Easily accessible recycling bins encourage customers and employees to recycle and will demonstrate your dealership’s commitment to operating sustainably.
Recycle and reuse car-wash water: This option is well suited for dealers who are rebuilding their dealerships or adding carwashes onto their existing dealerships. While there are upfront costs to these solutions, the savings could be notable, depending on the number of cars washed and the price of water in your area. In addition to lessening monthly water fees, it can also lower sewer fees. Although it will take time, this green initiative may eventually pay for itself.
Choose native greenery: When landscaping your property, choose native plants. If you’re already planning on spending money on landscaping, the extra effort and cost to use native plants is minimal. You can save on water costs because native plants can typically survive on rain when in their natural habitat.
As for Manheim’s own green efforts, three locations are getting major energy savings upgrades, including a large solar array at Manheim New Jersey, as well as campus wide LED installations at Manheim San Diego and Manheim Southern California. These initiatives build on Manheim’s already successful eco-conscious solutions at many of its locations across the country. Results of these initiatives include:
- Photovoltaic solar installations at 20 locations collectively prevent more than 5,000 tons of carbon from entering the environment, annually.
- LED lighting projects across many locations reduce carbon consumption by approximately 35,459 tons annually.
- Xeriscaping, rain harvesting, reclamation and replenishment projects save up to 74 million gallons of water annually.
- 37 Manheim locations are diverting at least 50% of their waste away from landfills each year, with Manheim Houston and Manheim Nevada diverting over 80%. Manheim also recently launched a program to ensure that every auction location will divert at least 60% of their waste from landfills, with at least five locations attaining zero waste to landfill status in 2021.
During Earth Month, Manheim and Cox have launched company-wide campaigns to encourage more sustainable actions among team members at home and at work. The company has provided a range of resources, including educational webinars with conservation tips, as well as fun challenges to increase participation.
To learn more about how Cox is making an impact in the communities where we live and work, check out the new Cox Collective Impact Report, available on April 22, here.