Bickmore lays down 'green' roots in community
Bickmore Auto Sales earned a Gresham Green Business certification in December after changing many of the ways it operates its business.
"They've done a great job," said Gregg Hayward, the business sustainability outreach coordinator for the city of Gresham. "They've made a lot of changes in the three-and-a-half months we've worked together."
For its part, the Bickmore company said in a statement, "Bickmore Auto Sales believes this is a small step we can do to show the community we are committed to being here in the community long term."
Bickmore, at 2020 E. Powell Blvd., is also on track to get an EcoBiz certification from the state's Department of Environmental Quality, Hayward said.
The Gresham Green Business program "helps businesses conserve natural resources, protect the local environment and help the bottom line," the city said.
Bickmore completed the Green Business certification not just to improve the environment, but also for the health of the employees, Hayward said.
Bickmore made sweeping changes to join the elite group of green businesses.
"They shifted to greener and safer chemicals including non-chlorinated cleaners," Hayward said.
The car dealership went to an ultra-sonic parts washer that eliminated the need for toxic chemicals when cleaning auto parts.
Another big change is switching to washable hand towels instead of disposable. Bickmore staff places used cloth towels in a special fireproof container and a laundry service cleans them.
Bickmore redoubled its efforts with recycling "throughout the facility with clear signage as to what goes where," Hayward said. The company also switched to using recycled oil and antifreeze.
They reduced their use of paper, changing to digital shop tickets and invoices and urged their suppliers to also make that switch. The dealership is reusing packaging such as boxes wherever possible and has put in low-flow faucets and covered drains so oil and chemicals don't go into the watershed.
Among the many other changes, Bickmore switched to a biodegradable soap for washing cars, put in LED lighting and started using washable mugs instead of single-use water bottles and cups.
Hayward said Bickmore also represents the first totally virtual Green Business certification for the city of Gresham. All the inspections, tours and meetings were done online.
Bickmore said, "There is so much more to do and if we can change our mind set of how to run our own company differently and be more sustainable, hopefully we can inspire other businesses to do the same. Bickmore Auto Sales is excited about making a change in the way we do business and knows that it is just the beginning of change in our company to plan for the future."
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