Are autobody shops environmentally friendly?

When the whole world is trying to Go Green, why should autobody shops be left behind? Today, car owners can choose which autobody shop they want to get their car fixed in and many are heading straight for the ones that provide environment-friendly options. This is a segment of the much wider consumer phenomenon.

Customers in Canada are increasingly beginning to care about which vendors they choose and how these vendors treat the biosphere. Whenever a car owner looks for an environmentally friendly auto repair shop, he/she is looking for a business that prioritizes energy conservation and ensures that they make every effort to keep the air, land and water clean. These autobody shops will generally have national green ratings or credentials.

eco icon“Green” Operations

On the other hand, these particular shops may also be tagged as “Green” based on how they perform their regular operations with reference to source material reduction, energy conservation, proper toxic disposal/ driver health. An eco-friendly car shop might help a customer with a number of things such as:

  • Opting for greener products such as biodiesel/ low-sulfur diesel fuel or even non-toxic compounds or paints for the auto-body
  • Give their customers options for conserving electricity via some innovative work on their hybrid cars ( a number of customers own these cars today)
  • Advice of much better ways of conserving while driving- getting wheel alignment, maintaining a good tire pressure, improving fuel injection / catalytic converter systems or how to lighten the load on the vehicle

Things to Consider

These are just a few of the things that environment-friendly autobody shops do. So if you are keen on doing your bit for the environment and want to opt for the services of one, how do you recognize a “Green” autobody shop? The things that you should be enquiring about are:

  • Materials – Check what kind if refinish technology the autobody shop uses. Ideally, they should be using a standardized and rated water-based technology. This significantly reduces the percentage of VOC’s which have a negative impact on the environment.

They should also be using low-pollution coolants and refrigerants in their repairs and should recycle these whenever possible. Most of the fluids and parts that have been removed from the vehicles, should also be recycled; ditto with the protective packaging that is used for the new parts

  • Equipment – The equipment that is used in autobody shops also makes a difference to the environment. A Green shop will use filtered and ventilated refinish cabins, refrigerant recyclers and high-transfer paint guns. All of this goes a long way in reducing pollution
  • Processes & Training – The autobody shop staff should have participated in training that has been especially designed for car-repair shops & their personnel, via organizations like CCAR-Greenlink and PPG.

When the staff is current with all the latest best practices for environment-friendliness, the customers benefit, employees benefit and more importantly- the earth breathes better. So, check if your autobody shop is environment-friendly and make the smarter choice.