We have all heard the old saying, “those who forget history, are doomed to repeat it”. Usually after a mistake we should have seen coming, adding a little sting to an already unfortunate situation. A decade is not that long when you consider how far back history goes, but it is long enough for us to forget some details of the events that occurred in our lives. Science has confirmed that we remember bad things more than good, almost as if our brains were trying to prevent us from forgetting history and thereby repeating it.
This mental mechanism served Guaranty well in our efforts to be a certified EcoBiz during the complete renovation our GM Certified Service center. Thankfully our Property Manager, Marty Nill, remembered the challenges Guaranty faced a decade ago in becoming EcoBiz certified then. The issues in those days were finding cost effective ways to implement the changes need to satisfy the programs conditions without having to completely retool.
So when the opportunity came to not only renovate, but reinvent our GM Certified Service Center to be a state of the art auto service facility, we put into practice nearly every recommendation on the EcoBiz checklist from the design period forward.
- 100% LED Lighting
- Double-Walled Containment
- Paperless Record Keeping
- Tied into Municipal Waste Water System
- Storm Drains Maintained 3x per Year
- DEQ Analyzed Wash Water Samples
- Bulk Oil Dispensers
- Aqueous Parts Washer
- Constant Employee Trainings
- Centralized Purchasing
- All outdoor metal halide lighting soon to be replaced with LED photocells
- Electric Hand Dryers
From the building’s 100% LED lighting to its incredibly efficient HVAC and emissions filtration system, this building, and its amenities, check just about every box in waste reduction, hazardous material management, and energy efficiency.
The facility features an enormous, fully-enclosed aqueous parts washer and has double-walled bulk oil tanks which feed a pneumatic pump system that reduces untold amounts of plastic waste (when multiplied by the thousands of vehicles the company services every year). All fluid containers sit atop spill pallets, and Guaranty recycles all eighteen (18) materials listed on the EcoBiz checklist.
You may be wondering by now what is an EcoBiz Certified Business and why is it something to be proud of? We could paraphrase but their website explains it best.
“EcoBiz, short for Eco-Logical Business, is a certification recognizing businesses in Oregon that adopt best practices and protect the environment. The completely free and voluntary program is designed to prevent and minimize hazardous waste, air and water pollution. EcoBiz is administered by the Pollution Prevention Outreach (P2O) Team, a group of pollution prevention experts from around the Portland Metro Region and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.
EcoBiz currently recognizes Automotive businesses (including general repair, body and paint, radiator repair and car wash), Landscapers (design, installation, maintenance, irrigation, and specialty), and Public Agencies.”
Areas of Evaluation
- Hazardous waste management
- Air quality and pollution
- Spill prevention and response
- Product and waste storage
- Cleaning procedures
- Purchasing and inventory management
- Recycling practices
- Employee training
- Vehicle washing and storm water
- Energy and water use
Beyond being listed on the EcoBiz.org website, the benefits of being certified are knowing that our service facility exceeds the industries best practices and is working hard to protect the environment. Guaranty was recognized in late 2019 by the RV Industry Association for it’s efforts as well with a nice artcle about Corporate Social Responsibility here. The environment has been important to Guaranty for a long time, well before climate change became a hot topic for debate. Pun intended. You can read more in our blog “Renewable Energy Is Nothing New at Guaranty” but in summary; Guaranty has been looking for ways to improve our carbon footprint for over a decade. In addition to the GM Certified Service Center’s state of the art reinvention and it’s adherence to the best practices available for conservation and reduction of impact on the environment, Guaranty also recently completed its expansive new RV Body Shop facility, that rivals any in the industry. What sets it apart is the 298 Oregon made solar panels at 285 watts each that have been installed on the new building, providing enough power to run 20 average households for a year. The power generated is dedicated to the operations of the body shop and should keep the building “off the grid” except for peak consumption, which is rare and short termed. As I have said, at Guaranty we are proud to have embraced alternative energy for many years. Several of our existing buildings already have ample solar panel installations and with the completion of our new RV Body Shop, Guaranty rivals the largest renewable energy producers in Junction City, with a combined 167kW of solar power.
Our world is one of consumption. Electricity powers nearly everything, and what it doesn’t power directly it is used in creating the fuel that does. Even if we could achieve 100% green creation of electricity through solar, wind, and hydro powered generators that clean energy would eventually power a manufacturing plant which may never be able to be a green business just by nature of what it produces. I doubt this is the official way to describe our philosophy here at Guaranty, but it’s a good analogy. Energy is like calories, if you consume more than you work off you won’t like what you see in the mirror. Offsetting your carbon footprint is like going to the gym, the more you do it the better you look and feel. So at Guaranty we like to eat sensibly and spend enough time at the gym to offset those calories and then some. It makes us feel better and we like what we see in the mirror!