Automotive sector

Net Zero car dealerships at the forefront of automotive carbon reductions

According to a new report from Automotive Property Consulting (APC), Net Zero auto dealerships are at the forefront of the automotive industry’s efforts to achieve Net Zero status.

Although APC acknowledged in its ‘Car Dealerships: lead the charge to Carbon Zero’ report that electric vehicles (EVs) are currently the focus of manufacturers and the UK government, it said the legislative spotlight will increasingly fall. more on the property.

But car retailers have been told that sustainable measures such as rooftop photovoltaic panels, solar thermal panels, heat pumps, LED lighting, green facades or rainwater reuse systems will not only reduce emissions and long-term costs, but will reduce the risk of potential fines. and increase property values.

“Features like these incur significant costs, and it’s unclear whether dealerships are likely to receive financial support from manufacturers to modernize dealerships with such initiatives,” the APC report said.

“However, creating zero-carbon dealerships is entirely possible and so there is an opportunity for the automotive industry to be at the forefront of change.

“It’s clear that dealers and manufacturers are now looking beyond electrification to bring the charge to net zero.”

Carbon cost of the good

APC said the “built environment” accounts for 40% of global greenhouse gas emissions and the transport sector close behind with 24% (of which 55% comes from cars).

As such, he said dealership ownership is the primary vehicle for implementing change and is likely to lead the way along the journey to net zero for commercial ownership.

According to APC, dealer standards are likely to increasingly reflect the net zero push of their OEM partners.

Almost two-thirds (62%) of OEMs said they had developed comprehensive sustainable strategies (SMMT), with Toyota setting a net zero target of 2050 in line with government timetables and Volvo aiming for 2040.

Toyota has asked all of its dealerships to take part in a “green dealership survey” that aims to assimilate data on levels of sustainability within the dealership network, APC said.

AM recently reported that automotive retailers are retrofitting LED lighting in their properties to reduce carbon emissions and long-term costs, including Swansway Group and Rygor.

A recent News Insight article, meanwhile, highlighted steps taken by car retail companies to reduce energy consumption amid rising gas and electricity costs.

APC’s report highlighted the “gold standard” of an excellent BREEAM score for carbon efficiency, and said Kia Coulsdon, Volkswagen Coulsdon, Audi Coulsdon and Volkswagen West London were among those to achieve Note.

Strengthening of legislation

In addition to OEM standards, legislation also dictates the move to net zero.

Since April 2018, it has become illegal to rent properties with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) of F or G, the lowest energy performance ratings.

The restrictions will tighten further from April 2023 when existing commercial leases and landlords will no longer be allowed to continue renting properties with an F or G rating unless a qualifying exemption is registered.

APC said it was likely the government would impose further MEES regulations where, by 2030, commercial properties will have to have an EPC B rating or better before being let.

New developments are under pressure from the NPPF (National Planning Policy Framework) to provide sustainable developments, with emphasis on GI (Green Infrastructure) and “urban greening”.

The APC report said: “The majority of this has happened within the jurisdiction of the London plan for major development proposals, including measures such as high quality landscaping (including tree planting), green roofs, green walls and nature-based sustainable drainage.”

Increasingly, real estate values ​​and rents are influenced by sustainable measures.

APC recognized that there has been a noticeable shift in focus towards ESG (environment, social and governance) by real estate investors and appraisers.

He said: “Assessors now routinely apply ‘green bonuses’ to buildings with notable levels of sustainability or ‘brown discounts’ which take into account the expenditure required or will be required to bring the property up to standard.”

To download APC’s report “Auto Dealers: Leading the Charge Towards Zero Carbon,” click here.