A new collaboration has been launched between Ford and the Carbon Trust to deliver energy efficiency services across Ford’s network of over 550 dealerships throughout the UK.

Based on pilot assessments the Carbon Trust has identified savings of up to £11m that could be made just with improvements in site operation, as well as through upgrading internal and external lighting.

A co-branded energy efficiency implementation service is being offered to all Ford dealer sites to help them reduce costs, improve environmental performance and enhance the customer experience. This new initiative builds on Ford’s continuing work to reduce the environmental impact of its vehicles and manufacturing sites, which includes the introduction of wind turbines at Ford’s Dagenham plant and solar panels at the Bridgend plant in Wales.

Working with the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), the Carbon Trust has identified that most car dealerships can make savings on their energy bills of up to ten percent through zero-cost activities, and with modest investment those savings can exceed 25%. By taking the opportunity to install new energy efficient equipment such as lighting, heating, ventilation and cooling, the returns on investment can be surprisingly quick. For example, with new LED lighting, capital returns can often be realised in just one to three years, and ongoing maintenance savings will continue to accumulate throughout the longer lifespan of the lamps.

Carbon Trust Implementation Services will help Ford’s UK dealers by:
• Providing a bespoke Ford dealer toolkit containing practical advice on low or zero cost solutions for energy efficiency, with best practice examples and employee engagement checklists.
• Assessing where energy savings can be delivered with new equipment, giving expert advice on technology, timeframes for return on investment, and helping to develop a business case.
• Assisting with the tendering process, providing access to a trusted pool of accredited suppliers, matching customers with the right skills at the right price.
• Getting the project off the ground with an energy efficiency finance scheme operated in partnership with Siemens. Where finance is provided for capital expenditure then savings on energy bills often entirely offset the cost of repayment, or can even make the investment cash positive.

Myles McCarthy, managing director of Carbon Trust Implementation Services, commented, “By helping to drive their dealerships to become more energy efficient, Ford is demonstrating a commitment to greening its operations through to the point of sale. The Carbon Trust is very pleased to be working with a leading company like Ford that is taking action on its carbon footprint, as well as delivering welcome savings for the largest dealership network in the UK.”

Mark Ovenden, Ford of Britain managing director, added, “In a challenging economy, the opportunity for improving energy efficiency and reducing costs is important to Ford, its dealers, and the UK motor industry as a whole. We are looking forward to working with the Carbon Trust to deliver Ford of Britain’s lowest ever carbon footprint.”