A Greener Place, One Raindrop at a Time

CITGO-branded station earns certification from the Green Business League.

By
Abbey Lewis, Executive Editor

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You certainly wouldn’t know it from the street, but David Welch’s Deerfield CITGO is certifiable—that is, certifiably “green.”

Early last year, Welch embarked on a quest to reduce his carbon footprint. Through work with a consultant for Green Hospitality Certified, Bannockburn, Ill., he was able to make simple changes that would eventually lead to a big difference in his electricity and water bills, as well as his impact on the environment.

Welch took over the six-pump site, which initially opened decades ago as a Sinclair operation, seven years ago. After a total remodel inside and out, Welch began to feel like there was even more he could do to improve his business. Welch installed energy-saving motion sensors on the light switches and tap faucets. He also placed a 52-gallon barrel under the canopy to capture rainwater runoff, with which he waters the native Illinois plants on the site and cleans off any spills. He also washes his pumps with the rainwater in lieu of costly, harsh chemicals sometimes used by other petroleum retailers.

He replaced light bulbs with energy-efficient products, uses nontoxic cleaning products and equipped his store with a thermostat that regulates the temperature after hours. These and other simple changes cost Welch about $3,000 to complete—a small amount for the potential savings.

It also earned him the first certification for a c-store operator with the Green Business League (see sidebar on p. 83). To attain certification as a green business with the league means his company has met the organization’s recognized standards of performance, having amassed points for every standard achieved. The GBL has set a 100-point goal that helps a business of any size attain certification.

Welch, who insists that he’ll get through this tumultuous year by “plugging through the bad times,” lives by the mantra, “Every little bit makes a difference.”

“A little goes a long way,” he says. 


Easy Being Green

How other c-store chains reduce their footprint “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. Our goal is to continue to incorporate these environmental features whenever possible as we construct new stores.” —John Feldman, vice president of construction for Kum & Go 


Products and ideas to help ‘green’ your business

LED display case fixtures can earn energy savings of up to 75%. With refrigeration being one of the single largest energy consumers in the c-store, operators can save by simply removing wattage and the heat associated with conventional lighting systems. ElectraLED Inc., Eclipse LED lighting, www.electraled.com

Facility management systems can control how lighting, refrigeration and HVAC function in the store. Those three things represent 90% to 95% of a store’s total energy consumption. This integrated package allows operators to control all at once, remotely or from within the store. Systems are said to offer return on investment in one to two years. Emerson Climate, E2 controller, www.emersonclimate.com

Foodservice equipment can vary wildly in operating costs. To make the choice simpler, retailers should focus on Energy Star qualified models, which rank in the top 25% in terms of energy efficiency. (For more, see p. 59 of January 2010 CSP.) A list of qualified models with daily energy consumption, and Excelbased energy-savings calculators, are available at www.energystar.gov In August 2008, Titletown Oil Corp. swapped out metal-halide lighting in the canopy at one of its Shell sites with

Crossover LED lighting from LSI. Metal-halide lighting, typically used in gasoline canopies today, loses up to 45% of its initial output in the first three years of use. In comparison, LED will lose only 30% of its initial output over the life of the lamp. LSI Industries, LED canopy lighting, www.lsi-industries.com

A League of Their OwnDon’t try this on your own; leave it to the experts. That’s the message the Green Business League (GBL) pushes to its potential members as it helps businesses of all shapes and sizes connect with one of its 300 environmental consultants across the country for an initial “green” assessment—for free.

Consultants help applicants adhere to various green practices, for which they earn points. One hundred points earns certification; additional points hoist companies to varying levels within the league, each identifying their level of commitment to the movement.

Other benefits of membership include the powerful marketing message available to all league members—that their businesses are certified good for the environment—plus training and educational events and networking opportunities. All members appear in a green business directory. “Helping companies along the way is good enough for us,” says M.J. Richmond, marketing agent for Plainfield, Ill.-based GBL. “We know ‘green’ pretty well.”

Visit www.greenbusinessleague.com to get started.  

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