4 Fuel Marketers Embracing Reduced-Emissions Gasoline

Samantha Oller, Senior Editor/Fuels, CSP

Car exhaust fumes

CHICAGO -- As tackling climate change becomes a bigger priority for many states and consumers, some fuel retailers are debuting and expanding greenhouse-gas offset programs for fuel.

The programs are coordinated by Atlanta-based GreenPrint, which launched in 2014 to offer carbon-neutral gasoline to fuel retailers. Today, its services have since expanded to include reduced-emissions programs for fleets.

Here are four fuel retailers that have announced new reduced-emissions programs or expanded existing efforts over the past year.

1. Mansfield Energy

Mansfield Energy Corp

In June, Mansfield Energy Corp. debuted its Zero reduced-emissions program, which will automatically calculate the carbon-dioxide emissions of Mansfield clients based on their diesel usage, and offset them through investments in greenhouse-gas reduction projects such as reforestation, alternative energy and planting trees in their local markets. It also supplies emissions and sustainability reporting that these companies can use for supply-chain reports, RFPs, cause marketing and annual reports.

“We’re seeing a growing number of our customers allocating more of their efforts and resources to sustainability and the implementation of sustainable business practices,” said Doug Haugh, president and chief strategy officer of Mansfield Energy, Gainesville, Ga. “Mansfield sees this as an opportunity to provide additional value for our customers and felt that Zero allows us to satisfy this unmet need in the industry.”

2. Alon Brands

Alon Brands

Alon Brands is expanding its rollout of its Strive reduced-emissions program to the remainder of its 303-store network later this summer. Alon will be introducing the program to 170 more sites in El Paso, N.M., and Abilene, Texas. As part of the expansion, the retailer, which is a 7-Eleven licensee, will plant more than 100,000 trees in partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation and local nonprofits in these two markets.

"The program has been a great success since we launched a small 20-location pilot a few years ago,” said Jonathan Ketchum, senior vice president of retail for Alon Brands, Dallas. “It's a strong competitive differentiator, and it was an easy decision to expand and make this part of our long-term fuel strategy. The markets we operate in are flat, but our same-store fuel volume is up over 6% year over year. While there may be other contributing factors, we know the Strive program has played a significant role."

Since its 2015 launch, the program has offset emissions on nearly 100 million gallons of fuel and has planted nearly 20,000 trees.

3. The Pride Stores

Pride Stores

In May, Pride Stores Inc., the retail division of Parent Petroleum Co., St. Charles, Ill., became the first Chicago-area retailer to offer a greenhouse-gas offset program for gasoline. The chain, which has 12 Pride convenience stores in the Chicago market, debuted the Purpose program, which calculates the tailpipe emissions for each gallon of fuel bought by Pride customers and invests in carbon projects to reduce the related emissions by up to 25%.

“Being the first and exclusive partner in Chicago to have such an impactful program is a strong competitive differentiator for us and is something we are excited about,” said Mario Spina, CEO of The Pride Stores. “This program will deliver a positive impact on our local communities, while building goodwill and loyalty at all 12 of our Pride stores.”

4. Ricker’s Stores

Ricker’s Stores

Ricker Oil Co. debuted the Ricker’s Replenish program at its 32 Indianapolis-area Ricker’s c-store sites in 2016. The program calculates the tailpipe emissions of every gallon and grade of fuel and then invests in projects that remove a corresponding amount of carbon from the atmosphere.

In addition to offsetting more than 46 million pounds of carbon since its launch, the program has also reportedly had a positive effect on business, increasing in-store purchases by 15% and winning more of customers’ monthly fuel purchases, according to the Anderson, Ind.-based retailer.