Kum & Go LEEDs the Way

Two convenience stores in Iowa receive eco-friendly certification

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa -- Two Kum & Go stores in the Des Moines, Iowa, area received the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) certification, becoming the first convenience stores in Iowa with the distinction.

"Kum & Go is proud to continue our tradition of being marketplace pioneers by becoming the first convenience store in the Midwest to be Silver LEED certified," said Kyle J. Krause, Kum & Go LC president and CEO. "In 1997, we were among the first to introduce E85, and [we] hope to have the same industry impact with our LEED construction model. [image-nocss] We strongly believe in our practice of environmental responsibility that benefits our customers."

The LEED-certified Kum & Go stores are located at 5800 Northglenn Drive, Johnston, Iowa, and 2110 Guthrie Street, Des Moines, Iowa. The store in Johnston is the first convenience store in the Midwest to obtain a Silver LEED certification.

In order to become LEED-certified, the Kum & Go stores used regional and recycled materials; improved energy performance; reflected the sun's rays by using extra-white concrete and highly reflective roofs, which reduces heating of urban areas; reduced water usage; and improved indoor air quality.

"Kum & Go's LEED certification demonstrates tremendous green building leadership," said Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair or the U.S. Green Building Council, Washington, D.C. "The urgency of USGBC's mission has challenged the industry to move faster and reach further than ever before, and Kum & Go serves as a prime example with just how much we can accomplish."

(Click here to read previous CSP Daily News coverage of the Johnston store.)

The retailer applied for LEED certification with the U.S. Green Building Council after completion of construction. The council rated the store on a number of categories, including water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality and innovation and design. The two certified Kum & Go stores will serve as pilots for future company LEED builds.

"LEED certification was a natural progression of the efforts we have made the past three years. We made only minor modifications to our design and construction methods to assure LEED certification," said John Feldman, vice president of construction for Kum & Go. "Our goal is to continue to incorporate these environmental features whenever possible as we construct new stores."

As part of Kum & Go's commitment to developing environmentally friendly building and operating practices, the majority of new stores are constructed with LEED standards in mind, according to the company, and are all equipped with heavily insulated glass, LED cooler door lights, sun-reflecting roofs and energy-efficient heating/air conditioning and refrigeration systems.

Additional measures for LEED certification include providing alternative transportation options, such as electronic vehicle charging and carpool/van parking, construction-waste management, 30% water-use reduction, and use of materials that do not emit solvent vapors and other harmful chemicals into the store environment.

The LEED Green Building Rating System encourages and accelerates global adoption of sustainable green building and development practices through the creation and implementation of universally understood and accepted tools and performance criteria. LEED is a third-party certification program and the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. LEED gives building owners and operators the tools they need to have an immediate and measurable impact on their buildings' performance.

In other company news, Kum & Go presented Springfield (Mo.) Victory Mission with a check for $18,000 last week to help pay for holiday meals for the needy, reported The News-Leader. Customers who purchased $1 cardboard turkeys accounted for more than $16,000 of the sum being donated, with the corporation donating the remainder. The cardboard turkey sales promotion, held during the three weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, has raised more than $56,000 since 2005, according to the company.

West Des Moines, Iowa-based Kum & Go is one of the largest privately owned operators of c-stores in the United States. The family-owned company operates 430 c-stores in 11 states.