“Chapel Hill Tire Car Care Center owner Marc Pons won a national award for his exceptional commitment to a sustainable community and his pioneering leadership in bringing green principles to the automotive care industry.
The Institute for Sustainable Development announced the winners of the Green Plus North American Sustainable Enterprise Awards at a recent ceremony at its RTP headquarters. Green Plus is an institute program that educates and certifies small and medium businesses across the country in triple bottom line sustainability in the areas of people (employees and community), planet (interaction with and use of the natural environment) and performance (strengthening business for optimal performance).
Pons was recognized for the green renovation of his Carrboro store. The sustainable retrofitting of the facility, built around 1905, included a solar panels system and three new state-of-the-art service bays, constructed of salvaged and recycled materials, where possible, and equipped with the latest automotive diagnostic equipment.
Other green features include insulated low-e windows, energy-efficient LED lighting, dual-flush toilets, interior finishes such as low-VOC paints, and reduced impervious surface landscaping with rainwater collection cistern, which not only beautifies the building but also reduces stormwater run-off. Pons introduced the Triangle to EFO (Environmentally Friendly Oil) for oil changes and NitroFill tire inflation system to boost tire efficiency and life and reduce tire waste.
Pons said he knew that in the areas of people and performance, the company would do well. Since 1953, the company has been known for its commitment to employees and customers and a passion for excellence. Pons’ outreach into the community includes serving as the 2010 vice chairman of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce and being a regular contributor to organizations including Kidzu Children’s Museum, Carrboro Arts Center, Rainbow Soccer League, CORA Food Pantry and Builders of Hope.
But he wasn’t so sure about how his business would fare with the third of the triple bottom line sustainability arena, the planet.
“Green Plus showed us that we could define success in another way, for the planet, and be a responsible business that wants to do the right thing,” Pons said.
“We’ve learned that there are lots of easy steps that any business can take to become greener. It was inspiring and fun because it broadened our thinking and sparked creative ideas,” he said.
“We learned that solar panels were feasible because of the tax credits. This change we’ve made is a win for our customers, the community and our business, because we can work more efficiently and be less wasteful,” Pons said. “We want other businesses in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro area to join us in this effort. We’ve proven it’s doable. And, it’s good business because customers appreciate good stewardship and an improved community.”
Please click here for the original story from The Herald.
Institute for Sustainable Development