“Give your tree a hug.” Give me a break. Yes, we care about the environment and we’ve managed to transition from inconvenience to acceptance when it comes to recycling from home.
But what is so interesting today is that the syrupy, left-leaning, treehugging clichés have gradually become smart business realities.
Most recently, we at CSP completed our annual mystery shop with partners Service Intelligence of 10 of the c-store channel’s largest chains. For the first time we asked shoppers to see if these companies were embracing environmental measures both at the fuel island and inside the store. This means LED fi xtures, motion-sensor lighting, ethanol blends and so on.
Our findings: Many of the companies surveyed are introducing such measures at a more rapid pace than we expected, including low-flush toilets; hygiene-friendly, touch-free bathrooms; and recycled-construction materials in ground-ups. (For complete results, see the August issue of CSP.)
Perhaps it’s not surprising. In 2009, we began recognizing this trend by launching the CSP Environmental Stewardship Awards, honoring three convenience chains for best green practices. For the past awards, La Crosse, Wis.-based Kwik Trip has shared how 335 energy-effi cient products at more than 200 sites conserved enough energy to power 450 homes annually and saved the company $300,000. Kum & Go touted how it was building LEED-certifi ed locations with sun-refl ecting roofs and energyeffi cient HVAC systems to drive down its utility bills.
Put another way, hugging a tree now means reaping an economic windfall.
At the upcoming Outlook Leadership conference at Terranea Resort, Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., we are excited to honor three additional deserving recipients.
- Thorntons Inc.: The Louisville, Ky.-based company is proud of its environmental accomplishments and even boasts it on its website, at thorntonsinc. com/green-promise.html. From biofuels to LED canopy lighting and cooler lights to eco-friendly cleaning products, Thorntons continues to explore new ways to curb costs while incorporating best environmental practices.
- The Spinx Co.: Based in Greenville, S.C., Spinx has embraced a wide range of green initiatives, including car-wash water reclamation, compact fl uorescent lighting that lasts longer and uses less energy, and alternative fuels.
- Boyett Petroleum: Operator of the clever Cruisers store concept, the Modesto, Calif., retailer is recognized industrywide for its innovative marketing ideas. The one we love and that earns Boyett the CSP Environmental Stewardship Award is its B Green Collection Days, during which customers can bring in recyclable items. Boyett matches the dollar value of the items, and the money goes to Modesto’s parks and recreation department.
Are you implementing cost-saving environmental programs into your store? Are there initiatives we should embrace industrywide? Forward me your ideas at [email protected]