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Thursday, 21 April 2011 15:46

New Jersey Green Automotive Repair Program Works with AASP/NJ at Northeast Trade Show

The New Jersey Green Automotive Repair Program (NJGARP) announced in September that the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of New Jersey (AASP/NJ) joined them as a new organizational partner.

The NJGARP 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 very proud to join with the other organizations in NJGARP as a partner in promoting environmentally-sound business practices within the body repair industry,” said Charles Bryant, Executive Director of the AASP/NJ. “The group has done tremendous work in its first year and I know that our members will be committed to helping promote processes that are good for the environment, good for consumers and good for business.”

Since 2011 NJGARP has recognized the 27 auto repair and auto body facilities that have received “Green” certification.

The facilities were honored at the organization’s Open House held at NJ CAR Headquarters in Trenton in February and began with Opening Remarks from representatives of each member organization.

Wayne Staub, NJDEP Director of Economic Growth & Green Energy was the event’s Keynote Speaker. After recognizing the “Green” certified facilities, those in attendance took part in a brief, but productive roundtable discussion about how the NJGARP program has resulted in real, and sometimes, substantial, cost savings to their facilities and how the program can be further developed.

“NJGARP and its member organizations are proud of the facilities that have gone beyond what the rules and regulations say and have taken their environmental stewardship seriously,” said Alex Yankaskas, Vice President of NJGARP. “The growing interest in “Green” certification signifies the commitment auto repair and auto body facilities have to reducing their impact on the environment.”

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.

NJGARP provides certified shops with some opportunities to engage in a continuing education program. This program offers continued support and green education courses to certified shops.

NJGARP also hopes to branch out into neighboring states to create similar programs in those regions within the next year.

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