Ford Motor Company announced its latest sustainability initiative at the 2010 National Automobile Dealers Association Convention over the weekend. The company is partnering with dealerships in a new ‘Go Green’ Dealership Sustainability Program, which will allow existing and new dealerships to improve their energy efficiency while reducing their overall carbon footprint and saving money on energy bills.

The program is voluntary and dealers will not be required to participate. However, the Ford program is designed to improve a building’s efficiency over the long term, which will cut down on operating expenses. As more consumers are realizing the importance of need for a green building, dealerships will be well served by participating in the Ford program.

This program is just the latest in a series of environmental initiatives that Ford has implemented.

"In keeping with Ford's commitment to the environment, this program is a great fit for our dealers because it provides a variety of energy-efficient improvement options regardless of the current age and design of the facility," says Sue Cischke, group vice president of sustainability, environment and safety engineering. This allows all dealers the opportunity to participate in improving the energy efficiency of their facility and gives them flexibility in making choices that are right for them and their dealership." Source: Ford

Prior to offering this program to all of its dealerships, Ford and the Rocky Mountain Institute are partnering for a pilot program that includes dealerships in Florida, New York and Nevada — three very diverse climates. This will allow Ford and the Rocky Mountain Institute to tailor specific technologies and upgrades to buildings in a given climate.

The entire process starts off with the participating dealerships receiving a thorough energy assessment. This assessment will be followed up with a plan, created by sustainability experts at Ford as well as representatives from the dealership, to reduce the building’s energy use through the use of upgrades specific to that facility’s energy use patterns. The program is designed to work both with existing dealerships as well as those that are under construction.

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