PE motor group Tavcor is continuing its mission for a greener operation by investing heavily in solar power.
In its biggest environmental project so far, the Tavcor Motor Group has spent R5.6m to reduce its carbon footprint by generating solar power at its dealerships in Port Elizabeth.
Audi Centre Port Elizabeth, Volkswagen Moffett and Tavcor Technical Centre now generate a total of 483.5 kilowatts peak (kWp) from the sun, following construction of solar plants at all three sites.
Any excess power generated in this way by the plants will be fed back into the national grid, says Tavcor Motor Group director Megan Stow.
The project is the first of its kind for a local automotive business and was initiated by the group’s environmental, health and safety team in late 2019.
Once the group got the necessary approval from the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality, construction kicked off at the Audi Centre site in November.
The Volkswagen Moffett and Tavcor Technical Centre sites were completed in February.
The family-managed Tavcor Motor Group was awarded Blue Status in 2013 by Volkswagen Group South Africa (VWSA) – becoming the first VW dealership in Africa to receive the environmental honour.
It has focussed heavily on environmental sustainability ever since.
“Led by the Tavcor Group’s environmental, health and safety team, we have consciously addressed environmental challenges in the business annually on a project basis,” Stow says.
Other environmentally sustainable practices implemented over the years include the recycling of old oil, metal, plastic and paper, with revenue from the sale of old oil used to fund corporate social responsibility projects.
Harvested rainwater is also used supply green water to the wash bays at the Audi Centre, Volkswagen Moffett, Tavcor Technical Centre and Tavcor George, with 56,606 cars washed with harvested water in 2019.
The Tavcor group has entered into sustainability partnerships with Saga Collectief, helping to build the Silindokuhle school in Joe Slovo using recycled materials in 2017 and 2018. The project won the prestigious SA Institute of Architects award for Sustainable Architecture in 2018.
In 2019, the Tavcor and Saga again joined forces on the building of a community centre/crèche called New Holy Saviour in Port Elizabeth’s Walmer Township. Recycled materials were once again used.
Tavcor and Saga are now working on a third environmentally driven project in Walmer Township. Liphimile Co Op is a community garden helping unemployed youth grow organic vegetables.