Sustainable Business of the Month
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Monday, 01 February 2010 00:00    E-mail
Ultimate Automotive: First to obtain Green Certification

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Download this column: 18-EO  Sustainable_Business_of_the_Month.pdf

When learning to walk, we all start with small steps.

The size of our steps increase as we become more comfortable, and before you know it, we can run.

If we begin by envisioning ourselves running, fear would likely paralyze us with inaction. The task would seem overwhelming.

That analogy works perfectly for the going green process.  We can start the process by doing little things upon which we build until one day we are all green.

That’s the philosophy of Al and Rose Beseler, owners of Ultimate Automotive Repair in Prescott Valley, which is the only auto repair businesses in the Quad Cities to qualify as an Arizona Green Shop by the Automotive Service Association of Arizona and the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality.

“The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality has guidelines for automotive shops to go green,” Rose said.  “It’s a laundry list of things that you can do to certify that your shop is green.”

Rose obtained the guidelines and started making changes.  It was not an overnight process. Rose said they spent almost two years accumulating the number of points required to receive their green certification.

“You have to have 300 points,” she said. “You receive points for complying with specific pollution prevention and energy conservation measures.”

Some of the measures that Ultimate Automotive incorporated can be instituted in every home and office. Things like programming thermostats so that the heat is reduced at night, recycling all paper and cardboard, eliminating junk mail and switching to CFLs.  But many other green initiatives Ultimate Automotive uses are specific to the auto repair business. These include:

• Having spill buckets to catch fluids so that spills do not reach the floor.

• Using a spigot system to provide delivery of fluids from drums, which also minimizes spills.

• Sealing the shop floor with an impermeable coating.

• Recycling used oil and oil filters.

• Recycling brake fluids and hydraulic oils.

• Using a water-based cleaning system and solutions.

• Sending lead acid batteries to an off-site recycler.

In a tour of the Ultimate Automotive shop, Al points out the smart washer, which uses only water to clean debris, grease, dirt and grime from car parts.

SustainableBusiness2-web4t“Instead of accumulating sludge that has been washed from the parts, this washer has pads inside that catch all that,” Al said. “Then, we just recycle the pads and nothing goes into the environment.”

The machines that Ultimate Automotive use for coolant, oil and transmissions are closedloop systems, which means one end of the hose is hooked onto a drum containing the appropriate fluid and the other end of the hose is hooked onto the vehicle.

“With this transmission system, we can flush up to 26 quarts at one time and if two drops leak out, that’s something,” Al said. But Rose and Al are not resting on their recycling laurels.

“With this program, we have to show constant improvement,” Rose said. “The certification lasts for two years and then we have to show that we have maintained what we started with and also improved and added new green measures.”

Ultimate Automotive is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The telephone number is 928-775-7575.