Many consumers today are not only attracted to products that allow them to maintain their properties in an environmentally friendly manner, but are also drawn to dealers who conduct their business under the same values of sustainability. Operating a more sustainable business can help dealers to both draw customers and save on the cost of doing business. Part of your annual business plan should include your sustainable strategy.
The following four steps can help you to save resources and deliver savings.
Gather data and analyze your current energy use. Compare your data internally and externally with similar-sized businesses.
Identify areas that need improvement and set a goal. Commit to a real goal to cut your energy usage by a certain percentage by a certain deadline.
Develop a plan of action to reduce energy usage and improve your level of sustainability and put it into place.
Monitor implementations to measure results each month against historical data on various utilities such as gas and electric. Track year-over-year changes in usage for each month to validate efforts and catch indicators for problems or areas that could benefit from and additional adjustment.
These four steps should be revisited cyclically in an effort to continuously improve the business’ sustainability. Dealers should consider consulting Energy Star (energystar.gov), a free, voluntary service that can help you through the process of becoming a more energy-efficient business.
Throughout your sustainable endeavors, include staff and customers in the process. It will provide customers with a positive outlook on your business, and make employees feel empowered and like they are making a difference. Vendor partners should also be in the loop to help shed light on ways other dealers are saving on energy usage. Don’t become complacent; once your goal is reached, raise it and continue to strive for better.