The Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce (VACC) has today launched an environmental accreditation program for the automotive industry called "Green Stamp Plus".
Its intent is to promote good environmental practices by workshops engaged in the repair and servicing of vehicles.
It's a welcome initiative by the sector. The environmental impact of cars and trucks extends beyond their emissions and fuel use; the repair and service of vehicles, and disposal and handling of fluids and components, also comes at an environmental cost.
Poor workshop practices - carelessness, spills and incorrect storage or disposal of fluids, solvents, paints and oils - can not only leave sites severely degraded but can have a lasting impact extending beyond local environments.
“In recent years, there has been a mind-shift in the way business owners view environmental business practice,” VACC Executive Director, David Purchase, said.
“Businesses can no longer ignore environmental issues. (Green Stamp Plus) is also a valuable marketing tool,” he said.
The program was developed by VACC with the assistance of the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities and State motor trade bodies.
"Green Stamp Plus" will encourage business owners to practice environmental management beyond their legislative requirements by enabling them to display and promote their 'green' credentials to consumers.
Of course, the professional industry comes under environmental scrutiny and risk of sanction for breaches.
The same can't be said of backyard paintshops and wrecking yards; it's time councils exercised their bylaw powers to clean out these environmental disasters.
- Tim O'Brien