Membership

Setting the Standard: One Group’s Eco-Friendly Move

The National Automobile Dealers Association is working with the EPA to create new benchmarks and to help its members reduce energy consumption.

When your association is trying to raise standards throughout your industry, the hard part may be figuring out the standards you have to build from.

NADA’s ultimate goal is to help dealers learn ways to save energy and reduce their costs.

That’s the issue the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) faced when looking to encourage its members to reduce energy usage—and the reason why it started its new Energy Ally program.

The program, which the group is building with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), is an extension of the Energy Star program and is focused on setting a performance standard that would earn dealerships an Energy Star rating. To start, NADA is encouraging dealers to participate in a benchmarking survey about their current energy usage.

The association is hoping to encourage dealers to take part in the survey with the help of secondary support businesses such as consulting and accounting firms. Businesses that assist five dealerships in taking part in the survey will receive a NADA Energy Ally designation.

One dealership that’s already taken the survey is the Christiansburg, Virginia-based Shelor Motor Mile, which the group calls “a microcosm of the energy-use profile of the retail auto industry nationwide.” The dealership, which houses numerous brands in 18 buildings that vary in age and size, was featured in a clip pitching the new program to dealers:

“NADA’s ultimate goal is to help dealers learn ways to save energy and reduce their costs,” said Don Chalmers, who heads the group’s Government Relations Committee, in a press release. “Before we can begin the Energy Star certification process, we need to benchmark the energy usage of at least 500 dealerships.”

The association’s 2013 NADA Convention and Expo, taking place this weekend, will also offer a number of energy-conscious solutions for attendees.

When trying to establish a new standard for your industry, how would you go about it? How would you get your members involved? Tell us about your own approach in the comments.

(Comstock/Thinkstock)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. MORE

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