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Firm rolls out sustainability project

a photo of hundreds of cars inside the Northgate Dome which is now the showroom for WeBuyCars in the north of Johannesburg

LED-ING THE WAY The installation of light-emitting diode lighting at all of its locations is part of WeBuyCars plan to reduced the company's ecological footprint

21st July 2023

     

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Second-hand vehicle buying and selling company WeBuyCars has successfully executed various sustainability solutions across its showrooms nationally, including the adoption of light-emitting diode (LED) lighting.

The project aims to promote ecofriendly practices and ensure a more sustainable and responsible approach to its business practice.

The sustainability drive also includes the installation of flowmetres to facilitate the use of rainwater at all its branches as well as the installation of solar power.

These efforts have not only reduced the company’s ecological footprint, but also demonstrated its commitment to a more sustainable future.

“One of the key initiatives is the widespread adoption a LED lighting, which has already resulted in a substantial reduction of energy consumption, as LED lights require significantly less power, compared with conventional lighting fixtures,” says WeBuyCars COO John Mills.

He adds that this will lead to reduced greenhouse-gas emissions while reducing costs.

“The retrofitting of LED lighting is happening consecutively at all existing branches and will be implemented at all new branches from opening,” he adds.

He explains an initial analysis conducted by an expert in the field at its Johannesburg South branch revealed that, while the previous lighting system consumed 99 kW/h, the new LED lighting solution would only use 39 kW/h.

“This staggering difference, when replicated across the entire group, showcases the significant energy savings being ramped up,” he says.

Additionally, despite the initial investment required for the LED transition, the company expects to recoup the costs within two years, making it a financially viable and environmentally sound decision.

The importance of sustainability is being increasingly recognised by consumers and businesses alike.

Tapping into this mandate, WeBuyCars has taken significant steps towards promoting ecofriendly practices and is rolling out a sustainability project across its countrywide network of 15 showrooms.

Mills points out that in response to the growing recognition of the importance of environment-friendly practices and to mitigate the impact of the country’s energy supply constraints, the company has made continuous progress in fields such as energy efficiency and water conservation.

This allows customers to procure products in the knowledge that the company’s overall environmental and carbon impact has been actively managed and minimised.

“We give our customers the opportunity to support a more sustainable future for the sector by choosing used vehicles that embody this commitment,” Mills explains.

“We do not just set theoretical targets for environmental performance; we are practical about what we can achieve, because we have been innovating on this front for so long.”

Further Strategies

The implementation of flowmeters at its branches promotes water conservation by accurately measuring water consumption, allowing the company to identify and address any inefficiencies promptly, thereby reducing unnecessary waste.

“It not only allows us to eliminate waste but demonstrates savings to clients and investors – something everyone is keen to see as consciousness of water scarcity increases,” says Mills.

“We have taken measures to ensure continuity of supply during water shortages through the implementation of water backup systems as a business continuity measure – ensuring that crucial facilities, such as restrooms, remain functional even in emergency situations.

“These backup systems provide an alternative water supply, reducing dependence on municipal water sources and minimising disruptions to daily operations,” he comments.

WeBuyCars has also started the roll-out of solar panels across its branches, with nine of its 15 branches already benefiting from the installations.

Its largest branch – The Dome in Northriding, Gauteng – has been fitted with 431 solar panels, thereby aggressively reducing its reliance on the traditional grid and contributing to cleaner energy sources on site, reducing its carbon footprint.

“Looking ahead, we plan to quantify the impact of our sustainability efforts, providing concrete figures and measurable results to illustrate the success of these initiatives,” he stresses.

Education is also a key aspect of WeBuyCars’ sustainability drive.

It aims to document its commitment to renewable energy, water conservation and energy efficiency into a comprehensive sustainability document, which will showcase its accomplishments as a basis on which to engage stakeholders in a meaningful dialogue about the importance of sustainable business practices.

Mills points out that, through the availability of data, the company can demonstrate the positive impact of its sustainability efforts.

“We aim to provide tangible figures and measurable results to illustrate the success of initiatives – and thereafter to track progress over time, sharing success stories and inspiring others to adopt similar sustainable practice,” Mills concludes.

Edited by Nadine James
Features Deputy Editor

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