Ready, set, (go) green
There is significant scope for sustainability in the aftersales automotive industry
For decades, the concept of sustainability has gradually integrated with the core of many businesses. This is evident by witnessing industries that have managed to create profitable businesses by aligning with the three Ps — people, planets, and profits. One of the most common scenarios being the rise of electric and hybrid cars with Tesla being the epitome.
UAE and sustainability
According to the UAE’s vision 2021, the UAE Government wants to ensure sustainable development while preserving the environment, and achieving a perfect balance between economic and social development.
To align with this vision, the UAE aims to spread its income portfolio by shifting from oil. It was January 2012 when His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, announced the launch of the Green Economy initiative under the slogan — ‘A green economy for sustainable development’.
This is primarily to enhance the country's competitiveness and sustainability and preserve its environment for future generations. It has also formed a committee to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations and report its progress. There are also a handful of projects in the works focusing on increasing clean energy in the country’s energy mix from 25 per cent to 50 per cent by 2050 reducing the carbon footprint of locally generated power by 70 per cent.
As a result of greater commitment towards national initiatives and efforts to gain the confidence of stakeholders by being proactive in communicating Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) performance, it has been reported that the top 100 companiesin the UAE have increased their corporate sustainability from 44 per cent in 2017 to 51 per cent in 2020 according to ‘The time has come, the KPMG UAE Survey of Sustainability Reporting 2020’.
Aftersales automotive industry
There is no doubt that over the past few years, social businesses in the UAE, such as Careem, Cartlow and Arcab, have skyrocketed. But amidst these social enterprises, there is a business from a monotonous industry of car repairing and servicing. Gargash Auto Repair, a car service centre that has been operating in the country for over 15 years is the UAE’s first-ever fully solar-powered workshop and this facility is currently located in Al Quoz.
With sustainability and green practices becoming important talking points for the automotive industry all around the world in recent years. Gargash Auto repair has installed solar panels spanning an area of 865 sq m. It has generated 350 megawatt hours (MWh) of clean energy and replaced over 227 metric tonnes of CO2 emissions from the atmosphere, which equates to the carbon emissions generated by 88 vehicles from the time they were installed, which was in 2019.
Amir Pervaiz, the General Manager of Gargash Auto Repair said “This proves that it is possible to do the right thing for both, the business and the planet. However, we are just getting started, and we look forward to scaling our impact as we work towards a more ambitious target of being fully carbon neutral by 2050.”
Gargash Auto Repair has announced its plan to make its operations 100 per cent carbon neutral by 2025. They are poised to achieve carbon neutrality by balancing emissions through solar panels to achieve a net-zero footprint and by making their operations 100 per cent paperless.
Sustainability is the way of the future in the automotive industry. As one of the greatest impactors on the environment, automotive manufacturers are at the forefront of establishing long-lasting changes.
As automotive companies embrace and make sustainability a strategic imperative, it's important to reflect that the newer three Ps definition of sustainability — pollution, prevention, and pays — which are here to stay for a sustainable future in the automotive industry, making it one of the most innovative and widely sought-after industrial domains for future generations.
Current advancements in the automobile industry, such as zero-emission vehicles and carbon-neutral production, illustrate the growing importance of sustainability and companies that fall in the car repair and service industry need to support the sustainable practices implemented by the manufacturers to create a greater sustainable impact.
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