'The Greenest Gas Station in the Country'

Barman goes to great lengths to aid the community, environment, country

[Editor's Note: The three winners of CSP's Environmental Stewardship Awards were honored during CSP's recent Outlook Leadership Conference. In this three-part series, CSP Daily News delves into how and why each winning chain or store adopted a "green" strategy.]

BEAVERTON, Ore.-- Bob Barman dug deep--and reached up high--to create what he calls the "greenest gas station in the country"--literally.

Barman, owner of the Highland Chevron ExtraMile store in Beaverton, Ore., has incorporated dozens of eco-friendly elements into the site, many of them firsts for the convenience-store industry.

Up high, a living green roof collects rain water, reducing runoff and insulating the store, and 175 solar panels on the roof and canopy allow Barman to actually produce all the power needed to operate the site.

Down low, Barman burrowed into the water table, adopting a practice suggested by a general manager called geothermal heating and cooling.

"We drilled down 45 feet to tap into the earth's water, we borrow it," Barman says. "In the winter, it heats our building, and in the summer, it cools our building. So our energy use is 50% to 60% less than normal."

At the pump, biodiesel offers an indication to consumers of Barman's commitment to environmental stewardship. Around the store, signs and literature really tell the story to customers.

LED lighting can be found everywhere, further reducing energy use. But it's the electric-car charging station that Barman feels really makes a statement about the site.

"I've been asked, 'Why would a gas station add an EV charging unit?' My answer is simply, we need to be part of the solution and not part of the problem," Barman says. "Yes, I'd like to sell you gasoline, but more importantly, I'd like to help our community, our environment and our country."

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