Eco friendliness, in many ways, is the result of awareness, positive attitudes continuous effort and initiatives. Toyota, as a brand, set themselves some ambitious targets has launched “Challenge 2050” set some ambitious targets to reduce environmental impact through reducing emissions, optimal resource efficiency and harmony with nature. To achieve this, environmental compliance of Toyota dealerships has been enjoying the highest priority and is monitored through the Dealer Environmental Risk Audit Programme. The expectation however is that dealers will go beyond mere compliance and implement additional initiatives to minimise environmental impact and optimise resource usage. Annually, Toyota South Africa Motors recognises a dealership that leads the way in terms of environmental initiatives with the Vice President’s Environmental Award. At the recent National Dealer Awards Ceremony, Halfway Toyota George received this accolade based on their compliance and efforts during 2018.
The dealership relocated in November 2016 to their new premises on Knysna Road. "Building an environmentally friendly dealership was one of our key objectives" says Mark Jones, Dealer Principal. This included a number of design elements and installations to minimise energy consumption and dependency on municipal water supply. The 288 solar panels installed on the roof of the dealership is one example of this. The dealership is in fact feeding power into the grid, thereby providing clean and sustainable energy. With that, the dealership only depends on municipal water for human consumption. A trio of water tanks harvesting rain water ensures supply for all other requirements such as ablution and irrigation. The water wise initiatives extends to the Service Centre as well. Service Manager, Frans De Winnaar is very proud of the sophisticated water filtration system used for the washbay. "This enables us to wash in excess of 50 vehicles per day only making use of recycled water". The Service Centre also boasts LED lighting throughout as well as a host of louvre type shutters in the roof that allows in natural light. Environmental compliance in terms of municipal bylaws and recycling are meticulously monitored by Frans and his team. "We work closely with our waste removal contractors to ensure a high level of recyclability, especially for items contaminated with hydrocarbons such as oil, brake fluid and engine coolant". Environmental initiatives are closely monitored and tracked on a daily basis to ensure continued focus by all dealer staff.
"We are enjoying good support from local authorities which enables us to sustain and enhance our environmental initiatives", says Mark. And indeed, George has a number of green credentials – it boasted the first solar powered airport in Africa, a project completed in December 2015. A recent study conducted by Numbeo, rated George number 1 in South Africa for Quality of living. It is rather significant that George scored 0 in terms of pollution, testimony to efforts to minimise environmental impact. “We are proud of our contribution to the eco-friendliness of our town. The key is to lead by example, thereby cultivating a mindset to reduce, reuse and recycle” say Mark.