Santa Monica Improves On Proud Past Of Sustainability

Monday, 7 Nov 2011, 1:29:00 AM

Special To The Mirror

Ron Davis is the Santa Monica Chamber Of Commerce Chairman and is Santa Monica Ford President.
Courtesy photo
Ron Davis is the Santa Monica Chamber Of Commerce Chairman and is Santa Monica Ford President.

Ron Davis

Santa Monica Chamber Of Commerce Chairman

When it comes to what’s good for the environment and what’s good for business, too often, it is thought that these two concepts cannot occur at the same time. Santa Monica, however, has a track record of excellence in both.

Few would argue that we live in a sustainable city.

In 1994, our city council adopted the Sustainable City Program to address how best to use our natural resources. In 2003, the plan was updated to include goals to safeguard human health and the environment while maintaining a healthy and diverse economy for our residents.

Electrified vehicles – including hybrids, plug-in cars, and battery electric vehicles – represent a tremendous opportunity for our city to continue its tradition of sustainability and economic prosperity.

Aside from being a sustainable transportation option, electrified vehicles benefit our local economy. In the past year, sales at my dealership Santa Monica Ford increased by 46 percent, mostly within the small car and fuel-efficient hybrid market. The additional revenue has allowed us to hire more workers.

The federal stimulus funds that our city has received to install fast-charging public, residential, and commercial charging stations provide job opportunities to our local, highly skilled professional electricians and electrical contractors at a time when we sorely need them.

As the newly elected chairman of the board of our Chamber of Commerce, I’m interested in any steps we can take to stimulate our local economy while protecting our quality of life.

For almost 10 years, I have been the owner and operator of Ford, Lincoln, and Subaru dealerships in Santa Monica. I’m proud of the progress we’ve made in that time and even more excited about what is right around the corner related to transportation and sustainability.

We’ve seen the strides automakers have made to create new cars and technologies that increase fuel efficiency and decrease emissions. For example, Ford engineers have already developed 12 fuel-savings technologies and are continuing to find ways to move the fuel efficiency needle. But there’s more to sustainability than just fuel efficiency.

When a car’s job is done, we’re working to make its parts reusable, recycleable, or compostable by creating components from materials like soy, cocoa husks, dandelions and wheat. As a surfer of our great beaches, I appreciate the environmental impact these changes can have on the area.

Earlier this year, Ford and SunPower announced the “Drive Green for Life” partnership, which will allow purchasers of the Focus Electric to receive a significant discount on SunPower solar panels. The prospect of the driving completely emission-free is exciting to environmentalist and businessman alike.

Thanks to our citizens, our community agencies, our businesses and our local environmental groups, our region’s efforts to make electrified vehicles a strong and viable transportation choice is another great reason to live in Santa Monica.

For more information on Drive Green for Life and Ford’s 12 fuel-saving technologies, please visit http://media.ford.com.

Ron Davis is the chairman of the board of The Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce and is the Santa Monica Ford President.

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