Windshield Repair Industry Looks to Promote "Green"

April 22, 2010

Though many windshield repair businesses have chosen to promote the environmentally friendliness of the service, repair business owner Mike Cass placed green at the forefront even as he named his business, which is called "Eco-Smart." And, for every windshield the Peoria, Ill.-based company repairs, it gives away a tree to plant-in support of the fact that a windshield was saved from going to a landfill.

"Most people don't realize that windshields are not recycled and are just thrown into landfills," says Cass. "That's going to be a big draw for repair in general as more people realize that."

But even though customers often are glad to hear of this, many are unaware, says Mark Huckle, owner of GlassLogic Windshield Repair in Irving, Texas.

"I tell my customers often … that they're really helping the environment when they choose repair over replacement, and, a lot say, 'You know, I never thought of that,'" Huckle says.

Some say environmental concern often can be a regional issue, though. For example, Bob Cawood, owner of Rock Star Windshield Repair in Schertz, Texas, serves a variety of areas-and has found this to be true in his home state.

"Being green and environmentally cautious pushes a lot more buttons in Austin, Texas, than it does in San Antonio," says Cawood.

Likewise, he finds that though green can be a factor, another kind of green plays a larger role-especially in today's economy.

"I think [my customers'] primary concern is saving money and preventing having to replace their windshields," he says. "I will bring up the fact that windshields don't degrade in the landfills and that it's a good thing to repair, but I have never had anyone said to me that that's their main reason."

Though awareness may not always be strong, just this last year, an association formed to promote the idea of glass repair and conservation throughout the industry at large-and to consumers as well. The Global Glass Conservation Alliance was formed last November as an umbrella group for the National Windshield Repair Association (NWRA). GGCA is aiming to reduce the energy impact of glass upon the earth.

"We do everything we can to assist our members with promoting glass conservation to their customers, and hope that, in the end, as a group we can cut down the impact the industry has on the environment," says GGCA director of operations Wendy Jozwiak.

Though windshield repair is a part of this, the association also works with the flat glass industry as well to promote the re-use and restoration of glass. (CLICK HERE to learn more about the GGCA.)

Is your company doing anything to celebrate Earth Day? Please e-mail pstacey@glass.com.

CLICK HERE to take a survey about the importance of environmental concerns among your customers.

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