November 17, 2021

When seeking to make their businesses more sustainable, convenience store operators may find it difficult to find initiatives to implement that are both achieveable and impactful to customers. Convenience Store Customers and Sustainability, the newest report from the NACS/Coca‑Cola Retailing Research Council, provides clear steps for the journey to becoming a more environmentally friendly and socially responsible operation.

Beginning on page 10, a series of charts plot out both the impact of certain actions and the difficulty involved with undertaking them.

Not surprisingly, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, hand sanitizer stations, masking requirements and social distancing markers are among the most impactful and easiest efforts to implement. On the more complex end are actions like adhering to green building standards (such as LEED) and using electric-powered delivery vehicles.

Current efforts from c-stores should look to go beyond traditional sustainability and environmental initiatives. For instance, shoppers encourage operators to hire staff who reflect the local community, especially when it comes to minority populations. And those same shoppers want operators to encourage staff to volunteer in their community.

These findings can help companies prioritize environmental and social initiatives based on shopper interest and effort involved.

The entire study, including the many roadmaps to action and insights on consumer attitudes, can be downloaded for free: