2011 Ford FiestaEnlarge Photo
2010 Ford Fusion HybridEnlarge Photo
Like a lot of corporations, Ford Motor Company understands the value of going green, and the automaker is now encouraging its dealers to get onboard with energy conservation, too. The push comes via Ford's ‘Go Green’ Dealership Sustainability Program, which was unveiled over the weekend at the National Automobile Dealers Association convention in Orlando, Florida. Although Ford isn't requiring its dealers to become more energy efficient, the company insists that dealers will see significant longterm benefits from doing so.
Of course, facility upgrades don't come cheap, and Ford estimates that improvements to appliances, insulation, and power systems could run between $100,000 and $800,000 per dealer, depending on size, location, and other factors. However, the automaker insists that on average, dealers can recoup those costs within three years. Ford, in partnership with efficiency experts from the Rocky Mountain Institute, has graciously offered to act as a consultant to dealers and walk them through the improvement process -- for a fee.
There is, of course, another reason that Ford dealers should consider going green: in addition to the energy savings, businesses often earn invaluable PR from their eco-friendly actions. That's not to say that Ford's concern for the environment is disingenuous: vehicles like the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid (recently named the 2010 North American Car of the Year) and the upcoming Ford Fiesta show that the automaker can definitely be eco-conscious when it wants to be. But just to be safe -- and to avoid a backlash from environmentalists like the one that "clean coal" advocates have seen -- Ford and its dealers need to put their money where their mouths are. And sending out a few more press releases like this one wouldn't hurt either:
ORLANDO, Feb. 14, 2010 – Ford Motor Company’s commitment to contributing to a better world further expands today with the announcement of the ‘Go Green’ Dealership Sustainability Program. The program is being shared with the company’s U.S. Ford and LincolnMercury dealers today at the 2010 National Automobile Dealers Association Convention.
The goal of the program is simple: Collaborate with dealers to implement cost-effective ways to improve the energy-efficiency of their facilities, resulting in a long-term reduction in individual dealership’s carbon footprint as well as overall operating costs. Participation in the ‘Go Green’ Dealership Sustainability Program is voluntary for dealers.
“In keeping with Ford’s commitment to the environment, this program is a great fit for our dealers because it provides a variety of energy-efficient improvement options regardless of the current age and design of the facility,” says Sue Cischke, group vice president, Sustainability, Environment and Safety Engineering. “This allows all dealers the opportunity to participate in improving the energy efficiency of their facility and gives them flexibility in making choices that are right for them and their dealership.”