7-Eleven announced a carbon offset program that the company says will reduce emissions by up to 30% for each gallon of fuel pumped. Nearly 100 stores in Portland, Seattle, and Madison, WI, are piloting the program, dubbed 7-Eleven Renew. For every 15-gallon car pumping gas at participating stores, 7-Eleven will invest in carbon offset initiatives such as solar power projects, wind power projects, and gas capture projects, and will also plant trees. GreenPrint – a company promoting sustainability through the retail gasoline, fleet and consumer product industries – is 7-Eleven’s partner on the project.
The company is implementing these projects in places like Kenya, Germany, Aruba, India, Indonesia, China and Nebraska. While the company is appealing to environmentally conscious consumers by telling them “Pump here, plant trees,” the projects listed on the Renew website focus more on a variety of interesting power projects.
The convenience store chain says the total effect of the 93 stores involved in the pilot program will be an estimated carbon reduction of 7.2 million pounds per year.
“All you need to do is fill up at any of the participating 7-Eleven stores located in Washington, Oregon, and Wisconsin. The Renew program automatically calculates your estimated tailpipe emissions and invest in certified carbon reduction projects. The best part is, you don’t have to do anything differently. Just pump your gas as you normally would, and know that every time you fill up at 7-Eleven, the Renew program reduces your emissions and plants trees in order to support your community!” the Renew website gushes.
More Sustainability, Energy Management Initiatives
In addition to the carbon offset program, 7-Eleven has recently invested in several energy and sustainability programs that increase efficiency and reduce waste and resource consumption. These measures include LED lighting, energy management systems and high-efficiency HVAC units.
The company implemented energy management systems (EMS) in stores. They’re used to monitor, control and optimize the performance of HVAC and refrigeration equipment. The EMS enables remote control of HVAC and other energy-consuming equipment, and generates real-time data used to perform self-diagnostic and optimization routines to reduce energy consumption and manage costs. 7?Eleven is installing low-flow aerator faucets as part of its standard energy-efficient design plan for all new stores.
As a result of these measures, 7?Eleven says it has so far reduced annual CO2 emissions by an estimated 300,000 metric tons and decreased annual electricity use by 21%.
In July, the convenience retailer swapped the Colombian coffee that had been served at its stories for a new Rainforest Alliance Certified, single-origin Colombian coffee. The company cited a 2016 study which found that sustainably sourced coffee is recognized by almost half of Millennials as an important attribute when making their selection.