Image credit: Thoroughbred Ford
It's taken them some time to get around to it, but Ford seems to be finally realizing that the future of the automobile industry will be very different from its past. Whether it's their recent announcement of major investment in hybrids and plug-in hybrids or their serious explorations of how our cars will interact with a smart grid, the one-time automotive pioneer has moved well beyond its famous giant green roof and started to make serious strides toward sustainability. Now the company is tackling a much overlooked aspect of car industry sustainability—dealerships.Teaming up with the Rocky Mountain Institute, Ford is launching a voluntary dealer sustainability program that will offer dealerships across the United States access to expert energy efficiency advice, after which Ford will collaborate with the dealer on what energy-saving options are available, tailoring a program to meet the needs of the dealership. The program is designed to be implemented for both existing facilities and new construction.
RMI founder and energy efficiency guru Amory Lovins announced the launch of the program:
"We applaud Ford for their ongoing energy-efficiency efforts around the world. This initiative will have a positive impact participating dealers decrease their consumption of energy. Implementing these cost-effective solutions will also improve dealer's bottom line over the long-term."
Of course, no amount of green dealerships can be a replacement for serious and concerted efforts to implement greener, cleaner and more innovative cars. But given the fact that Ford now seems to be moving in that direction, it'll be great that customers can buy those cars from dealerships that themselves are moving into the 21st Century.