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BMW dealers lead the way in clean selling
As part of its wide reaching sustainability programme BMW has tasked its dealer network to improve the environmental standards. A team of specialists assessed the level of development each dealer required to make the grade by looking at four main areas: heat, electricity, operational conditions and air systems within a building. Areas included increasing insulation and changing light bulbs to the most energy efficient ones right through to photovoltaic solar panels on the roof, groundwater heat pumps, wind turbines and heat recovery technology.
All of the measures being deployed were in line with BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) requirements for a building with a view to enhancing its environmental credentials, improving the performance of staff and reduce running costs. BREEAM is the world's most widely used environmental assessment method for buildings and sets the standard for sustainable design.
Since BMW introduced this initiative three dealerships have implemented a raft of environmental measures in line with BREAM. The first BMW UK site to go live was Williams Bolton in Lancashire. Through the use of low energy lighting, storm water drainage, an air source heat pump and recycled wash water the dealership has saved £85,000 a year in energy costs, while the storm drainage saves £65,000 a year in water rates. Its comparative BREEAM score is 'excellent'.
Williams BMW and MINI in Rochdale, was the second dealership in the network to go green. It also scored highly with a comparative BREEAM rating of 'excellent' courtesy of the regeneration of a brownfield site coupled with air source heat pumps and low energy lighting.
Following the recent opening of Wayside in Milton Keynes, BMW's latest green dealership is Elms Cambridge which will launch this month. This new build will feature a wind turbine, LED lighting and see nearly two thirds of all vehicle wash water recycled with 12 per cent of energy from renewable sources including photovoltaic cells. Electricity usage is expected to be cut by up to £15,000 resulting in a natural reduction in emissions as a result.
Tim Abbott, Managing Director of BMW UK, said: "There's some very good reasons why BMW has been named the most sustainable car company in the world for the sixth year in a row and these measures are just some of them. A return on investment for this technology can take time but the dealers are in this with us together and we plan to remain at the forefront of green building and stay as the class-leading premium car manufacturer when it comes to CO2 emissions."
It is not just the UK where the initiative has been implemented. Dealers in Germany, South Africa, Switzerland, Korea, Australia, USA and Japan have all been introducing various sustainability measures to both ecological and financial effect. Habberstad BMW in New York saved up to US$10,000 a month in energy costs after making a host of changes. These included motion sensors for the lightning system so lights were only on in an occupied space, waterless urinals that saved 45,000 gallons of water a year and a white sun-reflective roof and faster opening and closing garage doors to save on air conditioning costs.
BMW Kolon Motors in Daegu, Korea fitted a Building Integrated Photovoltaic System and saw a 90 per cent drop in energy used by the air-conditioning units to cool the premises. This measure alone is calculated to have cut six tonnes of CO2 emissions a year. BMW Club Motors in Pretoria, South Africa fitted Bamboo flooring, used lead free paints, created a water recycling facility and other measures for a 68 per cent drop in electricity consumption.
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