Fleurieu Crash Repairs in Victor Harbor was honoured with not one but two national awards at the 2018 Paint and Panel Bodyshop awards presented in Melbourne.
The business, owned by Meredith Abbott, husband Brenton and son Ben, took out the Axalta Sustainability Award and Brenton was also named Outstanding Mentor.
The sustainability award recognises a business which has worked on future proofing, which may include some environmental decisions too.
Fleurieu Crash Repairs has continued to grow rapidly, tripling its workshop in 2008. Recently they’ve increased their solar power capacity to 33.2 kilowatts.
Solar is just one of the business’s green initiatives. In 2010 it earned a Green Stamp Level 3 for its recycling and water saving initiatives.
Customers are currently being asked if they would use a bike to get around while their vehicle is in for repair and, reportedly, many have said they would, so courtesy pushbikes could soon be on offer.
The business was also recognised for its contribution and connection with the local community. Brenton is involved in Rotary; the business sponsors many local organisations and is a collection point for the domestic violence charity Life in a Bag. Waiting customers are also encouraged to knit a row or two for blankets for the homeless.
The future of the business has also been further guaranteed with the addition of son Ben to the ownership.
Brenton’s award as Outstanding Mentor recognised the extra lengths he goes to to ensure his country staff have access to the same training opportunities as in the city.
The business lays on pizza and drinks for the staff while they work online and recently completed the I-CAR welding certification.
Each year the business takes on a new apprentice and, in the past 10 years, only one apprentice has not achieved a trade qualification.
“It’s hard to keep staff but investing in their development is essential to do so,” Brenton said.