The Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of New Jersey (AASP/NJ), the state’s largest association of collision and mechanical repairers, is proud to announce its recent partnership with the New Jersey Green Automotive Repair Program (NJGARP). The program, launched in April 2009, encourages the State’s automotive repair facilities – including dealerships, independent shops and, soon, auto body shops – to implement environmentally friendly business practices and become certified as “green” businesses.
“AASP/NJ is extremely proud to be the newest partner association in NJGARP,” says AASP/NJ Executive Director Charles Bryant. “NJGARP has already made great strides in the time it’s been in place, and we are excited to now be moving forward with them to help shops across the state become ‘green’ certified facilities.”
NJGARP committee members worked with the DEP to develop a checklist of “green” initiatives that automotive repair facilities can implement in an effort to become more environmentally responsible. Each “green” initiative a facility implements is assigned a point value. Repair shops must achieve a minimum number of points to qualify for and maintain New Jersey Green Automotive Repair Program-certification and “green” business recognition. Auto body repair facilities have some elements that are unique to the work they do, which is why they will be evaluated with an industry-specific checklist of “green” initiatives they can implement.
The overall checklist includes: Pollution prevention and resource conservation measures; waste fluids management; energy and water conservation efforts; waste water reduction; recycling practices; and protection of customers and workers at the facility. The auto body repair checklist will include such areas as: Surface coatings; spray booth operations; on-site paint recycling/ equipment cleaning; paint stripping and sanding operations. Approved facilities must apply for recertification every two years, and NJGARP committee members will conduct on-site evaluations to determine if facilities continue to meet the specifications of the program and re-certify them.
“From the obvious benefits of preserving the environment to the cost-savings and improved public perception of being an ecologically-conscious business, more and more shops today are realizing that going ‘green’ is not only a good idea to save the earth, but also a smart business strategy,” explains Bryant. “Thanks to NJGARP, standards now exist to help shops across the state implement ‘green’ practices into their shops – a move that stands to benefit us all in the long run.”
For more information on NJGARP and a list of certified “green” facilities around the State, visit www.njgreenautorepair.org.