At this year's prestigious BMW Sales Excellence Award Ceremony, at the iconic BMW Museum in Munich, Germany, "The Most Sustainable BMW Dealership in the World" title was given to Richmond's Auto West BMW.
This highly esteemed award recognizes dealerships worldwide who are paving the way for a greener future, while supporting BMW AG's worldwide commitment to not only be the most innovative automotive manufacturer in the world, but also to tackle the fundamental issues relating to sustainability.
Auto West BMW opened its doors in 1986, however the history of this family-run business dates back to the late 60's as the original importers of BMWs into Western Canada. After opening a new state-of-the-art dealership in 2007, Richmond-based Auto West BMW is now considered one of the top dealers in the world, while leading as the most sustainable one.
Joachim Neumann, founder and president of Auto West BMW and the Auto West Group, is devoted to promoting environmental awareness and sustainability through his dealership network.
Neumann has confronted a wide range of modern challenges at the forefront of a growing ecological battle within the automotive industry. "This sustainability award plays a crucial role in promoting the principles of environmental responsibility to an industry that's considered to be very wasteful," says Neumann. He adds, "Auto West Group is committed to developing a greener environment for Canada - one project at a time."
Auto West BMW has successfully embedded many fascinating sustainability features into its "DNA" including:
A green roof concept consisting of eight gardens with 2,200 plants in total.
Maintained by Auto West BMW's staff-led "Team Green," it includes a community garden which grows vegetables that are donated back to the local food bank in Richmond.
Building a rooftop honey bee apiary to help combat the worldwide phenomenon of Colony Collapse Disorder. The apiary consists of five colonies that house approximately 150,000 bees which pollinate the green roof gardens and surrounding community.
Installation of BC's only commercial vertical axis wind turbine, standing 53 feet tall and producing up to 3,500 watts of power to create natural energy.
A series of rooftop solar panels producing 2,300 kWh to help power their facilities and reduce overall power consumption, minimizing their carbon footprint.
Geothermal heating and cooling technology to provide natural insulation, eliminating harmful chemicals to the environment inherent in HVAC systems, and providing a steady ambient air room temperature.
Reducing overall water consumption through water recirculation. ninety percent of storm water and car wash runoff is collected, filtered, and reused during car wash cycles.
Auto West Group's commitment to sustainability continues beyond BMW.
In 2012, they opened the largest Mini dealership in Canada - Mini Richmond, which is also taking the sustainability lead in the automotive industry. With the installation of 168 rooftop solar panels, it is considered the largest solar panel installation on a dealership in Canada.
In addition, a large exterior green wall was installed at Mini Richmond to reduce the temperature within the dealership, generate oxygen, and is perceived as outdoor public art with a honey bee design incorporated through selected flowers and plants.
Reclaimed storm water is also used in the washroom urinals and water closets to irrigate both the green wall and landscape.
Furthermore, to meet the future demand of electric cars, a public EV charge station was recently installed in front of Mini Richmond, furthering Auto West Group's commitment to support sustainability in their community.
"We have made all of these investments without the expectation of an immediate financial return.
"wThis is about being good corporate citizens within our community by doing what is right for the environment, while also setting an example as a sustainable leader in the automotive marketplace," said Pete Sargent, project manager for Auto West Group.