Protect Employee Health and Prevent Pollution: A Guide for Auto Repair Shops

Dec 12, 2023 | Business Insurance

To operate a sustainable automotive body and repair shop, it’s crucial to adopt a comprehensive sustainability manual that encompasses the broader impacts of the business on the economy, society, and environment, alongside its core functions of vehicle repair and maintenance. Sustainable practices within such businesses—spanning gas stations, car washes, auto dealerships, and fleet maintenance facilities—are not only about fixing cars but also about promoting eco-friendly choices. For example, a green repair shop may advise customers on ways to reduce their vehicle’s weight, enhance fuel injection or catalytic converter systems, or engage in more sustainable road use, thereby aiding in environmental conservation. Emphasizing sustainability can differentiate your business, attracting customers interested in eco-friendly services. According to Bodyshop Business, adopting these sustainable practices can provide significant benefits, including resource preservation and environmental protection, which are becoming increasingly important in today’s market.

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  • decreased costs for operations, insurance, and waste
  • higher property values,
  • easier hiring of employees,
  • decreased risk of liability,
  • Incentives such as tax credits and other potential government programs,
  • Benefits to productivity and employee health.

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Establishing efficient energy practices can help you save money, improve the resilience and dependability of the electric grid, and have positive effects on the environment, the community, and your health. Any strategy for energy conservation must include cultivating a culture of efficiency in the workplace.

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Keep a dry shop: Tip #2 Vehicle fluids may drip, spill, or otherwise get into floor drains and sinks in service areas during routine repair and maintenance. A dry shop management strategy can reduce the amount of wastewater produced by a shop using a variety of tactics, such as capping the floor drains and transferring fluids using safety cans, drip pans, trays, and funnel drum covers.

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Use recycled water, according to tip #3: A car wash that can wash 400 cars per day uses 48,000 gallons of water each day, or more than 17 million gallons annually. If there is a carwash at your facility, using recycled water for these operations lessens the reliance on surface water, which is getting more and more expensive and scarce. Additionally, it can lessen groundwater overdrafts and the amount of treated wastewater that is discharged into rivers and oceans.

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Tip #4: Make use of technology to improve supply chain visibility and transparency. An average car consists of an astounding 30,000 parts. Process documentation will simplify tracking specific products and components as they move from the supplier to the manufacturer to the consumer.

Tip 5: Convert to a fully digital setup. A digitalized auto repair shop allows for the automation of customer relationship management during repairs and visits. This will reduce paper waste associated with processing customer information, work orders, inspections, internal communications, emails, and invoices.

Use equipment that reduces Most auto body and repair shops use pneumatic tools powered by noisy air compressors, creating noise. An air compressor typically produces noise of up to 90 decibels. Any noise that is louder than 70 decibels can harm hearing, according to the CDC. 

According to tip #7, train yourself and your staff: Implement several practices through practical employee training as part of this management strategy to produce less waste.

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Encourage customers to use green products: To increase customer trust and provide a better shopping experience, concentrate on educating your customers. To assist your customers in making more eco-friendly purchasing decisions, this education should emphasize sustainability.

Starting a green loyalty rewards program is Tip #9: Long-term customer retention strategies include customer loyalty programs. According to data, customers who participate in a long-term customer loyalty program spend 67% more. Customers are more likely to stick with a particular brand and remain loyal the longer they take advantage of the loyalty programs.

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Use solar energy to meet your electricity needs. Energy costs, which total more than $2 billion nationwide, are the third largest expense for auto repair shops. Due to the lack of available alternatives, utility bills have historically been an undervalued expense. But for car dealerships all over the nation, solar power offers a distinctive, advantageous option.

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Upgrade your light fixtures to retrofitted ones as tip #11 recommends: LED lights not only save costs in energy consumption, but you can also adjust their fixtures for brightness and direction of light output. Brighter, more direct light easily reveals a car’s warping, dents, and dings, which can accelerate the insurance rebate process and minimize the chance of a customer receiving a still-damaged car.

Install insulated garage doors, which is tip #12: As vehicles enter and exit, bay doors open and close numerous times throughout the day, increasing the heating and cooling loads. These doors may be left open unnecessarily for extended periods of time in some facilities. Insulated doors are a more environmentally friendly option that also offers security and energy-saving advantages.

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The 13th tip is to reduce packaging. Bulk purchases can result in financial savings, reduced waste, time savings, and a constant supply of staples.

Tip #14: Use an industrial acrylic floor system or another impervious material to seal the shop floor: In areas with a high exposure to liquids and spills, a sealed shop floor is slip-resistant, can limit hazards, and can reduce slips and falls. Epoxy flooring’s seamless surface is very simple to clean because it is water, oil, and grease resistant. Additionally, it is non-porous, making it simple to wipe away dust and dirt.

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Choose suppliers who only offer products, services, and chemicals that are environmentally friendly: The use of environmentally friendly chemical substitutes is expanding in the professional carwashing sector thanks to improvements in professional cleaning procedures. Green cleaning is advantageous to both the environment and staff members. Exposure to some conventional cleaning agents harms human health, causing asthma, allergic reactions, and skin rashes.

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