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Toyota dealers cut power use – save over $125,000

Toyota dealers around New Zealand have been saving power and money as part of environmental projects they have undertaken to meet Enviro-Mark Gold certification, saving more than $125,000 in the process.

Since 2008, all 64 Toyota dealers from Whangarei through to Invercargill have been part of a nationwide drive to improve resource efficiency and save on business costs.

There has been a combined nationwide saving of 11.7 percent, with consumption dropping by 795,000 kWh.

Although Toyota sales have risen by 26 percent since 2010, the increase in dealership business activity has not hindered power saving initiatives.

If the dealer network was still consuming power at 2008 levels it would be costing $127,266 more than what was paid last year, based on an average commercial electricity cost of 16 cents per kWh.

“The financial savings that accompany environmental projects is a bonus for our dealers, and should encourage other businesses to see how they can save money from improving their efficiency,” said Alistair Davis, Toyota New Zealand’s Managing Director, who is also the chairman of the Sustainable Business Council.

Amongst the many changes, Auckland City Toyota upgraded to more efficient fluorescent tubes and low wattage LEDs for exterior lighting, while Dunedin introduced automatic sensors to turn off lights once employees left certain areas of the dealership.

Auckland City Toyota has made power reductions of up to 44 percent with 2008 consumption figures totalling 537,878 kWh compared to the 2014 figure of 301,606 kWh. Based on the average commercial electricity price of 16 cents per KWh, this amounts to a saving of $37,800.

Cooke Howlison Toyota in Dunedin saw power use drop from 309,600kW/hrs to 205,000 kWhrs - a 37 percent reduction - a saving of about $16,700 over the same period.

In Whangarei, Lux meters measure the amount of natural light available and dim or turn off lights when they are not necessary.

Other dealers have installed additional skylights in workshops and showrooms to let in more natural light.

Enviro-Mark is an independent management system with annual auditing to make sure standards are maintained.

Toyota is the only car company in New Zealand where all of its dealers meet the Enviro-Mark standard.

There has also been a focus on waste and water efficiency, which provide further savings.

Many dealers have halved their waste disposal costs by sending more “rubbish” for recycling. Raising staff awareness and introducing recycling bins close to work stations improves recycling rates by making it easy for staff.

At Northland Toyota, where the impact of droughts are a very real threat to business operations during the summer months, they are saving more than $1,500 a year in water charges by collecting rainwater which is used for car washing, yard cleaning and in the workshop, before being recycled through filters and used again.

The 60,000 cubic metres of water saved on average each month is effectively available to the rest of the community and allows the supply authority to stretch its supply further.

Toyota and the wider dealership commitment to lessen their environmental impact have been applauded by Dr. Ann Smith, the Chief Executive Officer of Enviro-Mark Solutions.

“This is a profound achievement. All Toyota New Zealand dealers have accomplished significant environmental improvements in the last five years.”

“Every one of them has achieved Enviro-Mark Gold certification or above, which requires an annual audit of their in-house control over compliance and environmental impacts, as well as monitoring continual improvement,” said Dr. Smith.

“They are a great example of what owner-operator businesses can achieve through a collective approach.”

The Toyota dealer network’s adoption of environment saving policies in its business since 2008 is a reflection of Toyota’s values both nationally and worldwide.