There are a growing number of examples in our marketplace of both business owners and manufactures that are leading the way for the rest of us in the ‘green movement’. Several of the chemical manufacturers have been making a huge effort to get out their message about sustainable chemical offerings. Their biggest challenge is trying to break the perception that sustainable chemicals are not nearly as good as the chemicals wash owners have been using for years. The good news is that chemistry has come a LONG way and we are now seeing through various comparison studies that the quality of sustainable chemicals is now on par with traditional chemical. Companies like Ecolab have a vehicle care division that has devoted considerable resources and research into how car wash businesses can be both sustainable and successful. Not just manufacturers and chemical providers have these resources, but the car wash associations have been rallying resources and data for their members to take advantage of.
The next place to look for an example of yet another way to be a more green facility is in the water treatment and boiler niche of the car washing industry. We all know that we can call environmental friendliness, sustainability, or conservation by whatever catchy “green” term we want because at the end of the day it’s all about using less resources and providing the same service. To me this is running an efficient business, saving a dollar, and investing in the future of your business. Companies like Huron Valley have been recognized for their new technologies to reduce waste, reduce pollution, and reduce energy consumption. Although it is important to point out that no one company has the monopoly on being green - it is through competition and innovation from the manufacturers within this industry (and others) that make it a success.
There are several west coast car wash owners that have been pioneers in harnessing solar energy for heating their water and reducing their energy bills or hydrogen power to offset fossil fuel consumption.