In 2008, Groupe Park Avenue established a policy for sustainable development. The development and implementation of this policy began in the spring of 2008 with the creation of a ten-member sustainable development committee that included an employee from each Groupe Park Avenue company. These individuals first collated practices and policies in place at their respective dealerships, and then proceeded to become motivational forces that exerted a positive influence on others. Introducing our Eco-committee!
For our sustainable development project, the committee’s objective was to implement a strategy for the entire group, mobilize personnel for this purpose, raise client awareness regarding our involvement, and become the leader in the automotive industry for our commitment to environmental protection.
After several studies and comparisons, we have strategically chosen to implement a softer sustainable development policy, one that is gradually implemented and, based on our analyses, has a higher success rate. Several companies and/or organizations have taken two years to devise their approach and only subsequently began taking concrete action.
First, we had to establish a diagnostic analysis. The committee studied the image projected by the Groupe and employee perceptions, identified practices and policies in effect within the Groupe and then determined the best practices currently in place in the automotive industry.
After the diagnostic analysis, we had to determine the main issues that Groupe Park Avenue would address and decide on our course of action. On March 31, 2008, the sustainable development committee retained 45 eco-footprint practices and procedures that it wanted to improve upon. Of the 45 practices and procedures identified, 14 were already in place, which resulted in us having reached 31% of our objective. We then classified our action plan by category and short-, medium- and long-term goals.
On February 28, 2009, with the implementation of several actions, we had 30 practices and procedures in place, bringing us to 67% of our objective. From the beginning, we prioritized an issue of great importance to all our employees: the recycling of paper products. After several negotiations with recycling firms as well as taking declining prices of recycled material into consideration, we chose to go ahead with a pilot project involving BMW Sainte-Julie in June 2008. After further modifications and adjustments to ensure an optimal operation of our approach, we widened the scope of our recycling plan to include all Groupe Park Avenue dealerships. Thus, at the end of April 2009, we added eight other procedures that helped us reach 84% of our objective. The final components of our action plan involve medium and long-term commitments. In that vein, we hired a specialized firm to conduct a study of our environmental energy costs. This plan mainly entails recommendations and/or the modification of heating and lighting systems in our dealerships that will be carried out progressively. However, we have implemented the firm’s recommendations in the construction of two new dealerships this year and will continue to do so for any future building projects.
Finally, to ensure the success of our policy, it is imperative to integrate concerns and responsibilities regarding environmental protection and sustainable development to employee tasks and functions. Groupe Park Avenue has elected to be proactive and become an industry leader in the matter of sustainable development for the sake of its employees, clients and global community. With this policy, we hope to introduce better management practices within the Groupe and help provide future generations with a healthier planet.