Creating a compelling business story with community outreach
There comes a time in every vehicle’s life when it simply reaches the end of the road. The end-of-life vehicle recycling industry in Canada not only provides reliable quality parts at a fraction of the cost, it eliminates pollution and the expenditure of energy and raw materials normally used in making new parts.
About the ARC
The Automotive Recyclers of Canada (ARC) is the national umbrella association representing automotive recyclers and dismantlers across the country. The ARC doesn’t stop at just benefiting the environment and the industry. It also manages a number of different charitable initiatives on both national and provincial levels.
One example of a successful national level program is Car Heaven, a vehicle donation program that allows vehicle owners to donate their car to a charity of choice. The ARC office manages the flow of data and money while the vehicle is sold to a participating member and the proceeds donated. Approximately 1,000 cars per year are donated, and Car Heaven has raised over $3.8 million for various charities such as the Heart and Stroke Foundation and the Canadian Cancer Society.
Better business through charity
The success of Car Heaven has inspired programs like Retire Your Ride, a national vehicle scrap program funded by Environment Canada. The Ontario Automotive Recyclers Association (OARA), a member of ARC, ran the call line for the program. The program was such a success that the OARA used the admin fees collected to donate $1 million to different charities. They encouraged active community involvement among their members by asking them to suggest different charitable organizations for donations.
Another hugely successful OARA program is Tire Take Back. Four years ago, the Ontario Tire Stewardship came to the OARA asking for collaboration on a major campaign to recycle tires across the province. The proceeds of Tire Take Back go to the Sunshine Foundation, which helps make dreams come true for children with life-threatening illnesses and severe disabilities. Adding the element of a donation differentiated this campaign from the fact that people can bring in their old tires whenever, but may not get around to it, encouraging more participation. The program has raised $750,000 for Sunshine and responsibly recycled over 200,000 tires
Reaching the media and the public
We’ve learned how to organize these endeavors so they have a compelling angle – the charity aspect – that makes it different from regular business. People look at what the OARA has done and say, “Wow, how do we do that?”
Charitable activities within our local communities are something auto recyc- lers have always done – we are just try- ing to be more strategic with our philanthropy with these organized programs.
It’s a new way to get the media and car buyers interested in the industry which is always an opportunity to bring people to an auto recycler and start a conversation – something all businesses can benefit from.