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NATIONAL REPORT -- Giving back through community service efforts and charity donations is a positive force that keeps many retailers and suppliers of this industry moving ahead. On a regular basis, Convenience Store News highlights these philanthropic efforts in this special section.
Here are the latest company spotlights:
Bazco Oil Co.
Volunteers from CITGO Marketer Bazco Oil Co. raised more than $7,000 in support of breast cancer awareness and research during the 23rd Annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Detroit in early June. Nearly 20 Bazco Oil employees, family members and friends joined the team and contributed to fundraising efforts, which included station events in May and other promotions.
In addition to participating in the race, Bazco Oil held several customer appreciation days and grand-opening events at CITGO locations in Michigan throughout May. The company will continue to raise money for breast cancer awareness and research by selling Energy for the Cure bracelets at all of their nine CITGO locations in the greater Detroit area.
The University of Wyoming (UW) College of Law’s Center for Law and Energy Resources in the Rockies (CLERR) recently received a $25,000 gift from BP America to develop CLERR’s summer energy law institute.
Launched in spring 2013, CLERR serves as the focal point for the many energy and natural resource initiatives at the College of Law. It develops new initiatives and outreach opportunities on the UW campus, in the state and in the Rocky Mountain region.
The summer energy law institute will provide UW students, as well as other students from across the country interested in energy law, an opportunity to gain a specific energy law-focused education using Wyoming’s setting. UW faculty members and expert law faculty, from the energy industry and the legal community, will provide instruction on a variety of key energy law areas during the summer program.
Tony Attardo, BP’s Wyoming Basin manager, said the donation is part of BP’s commitment to higher education and to the communities where its employees live and work.
The Hershey Co.
Eighteen months after launching its Hershey Learn to Grow program in Ghana to help increase the incomes and improve living standards for more than 1,400 cocoa farm families, the Hershey Co. has delivered significant results for farmers, families and the cocoa sector in the region. Now Hershey is expanding the program by launching Phase II in all of Ghana’s cocoa-growing regions. This will increase the number of participating farmers from 1,465 to more than 21,000 across Ghana.
A highlight of the program’s first results report is that all 1,465 participating farmers in Ghana’s Assin Fosu region passed their first year UTZ audit and are now growing UTZ-certified cocoa, adding additional third-party certified cocoa volume to the region’s cocoa supply. Hershey previously committed to using 100-percent certified cocoa in its products worldwide by 2020. In 2013, 18 percent of the cocoa Hershey purchased globally was certified, nearly double its original goal of 10 percent for the year. The company plans to increase this amount to between 40 and 50 percent by 2016 on its path to 100 percent by 2020.
In other Hershey news, the company recently issued its third Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report, highlighting how the company has delivered substantial progress against its wide-ranging CSR goals. From environmental sustainability to ethical sourcing, the company achieved many of its CSR goals years early. As a result, the company has set several new environmental targets in its third report. The company also announced its updated framework to guide CSR efforts in the future.
The report outlines how the company completed 60 percent of its published goals and discusses its progress against the remaining 40 percent, which are on track to be completed on time. Recent achievements include surpassing four environmental targets early and exceeding its year-one cocoa certification goal.
As a result of the substantial progress made against its environmental priorities, the company has established new 2017 goals with 2013 as the baseline. Reducing the company’s environmental impact will play an important role in the company’s ability to achieve $10 billion in annual revenue by 2017. Hershey’s new environmental targets to be completed are:
- Reducing greenhouse gas emissions by an additional 10 percent
- Attaining zero-waste-to-landfill status at an additional two plants
- Attaining a recycling rate of 90 percent
- Reducing waste by an additional 5 percent
- Reducing emissions by an additional 15 percent
- Reducing absolute water use an additional 17 percent
- Competing a minimum of 25 packaging sustainability initiatives, resulting in the cumulative elimination of 16 million pounds of packaging material
National Coalition of Associations of 7-Eleven Franchises
The National Coalition of Associations of 7-Eleven Franchisees (NCASEF) and its partners made two sizable donations to its charities of choice recently. Swim Across America (SAA), an organization dedicated to fighting cancer and finding a cure, received $230,000, and the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA), which battles neuromuscular diseases, received $345,711.
The charitable donations for SAA were raised by NCASEF through a series of activities at its annual convention including an annual golf tournament and both a silent and live auction. Other funds for this donation came from local Franchise Owner’s Association events taking place during the year in Dallas, Central Florida and San Diego.
The charity donations for MDA were raised through the annual mobile and canister programs where 7-Eleven guests are encouraged throughout the year to make donations in canisters placed on store check-out counters.
PepsiCo and The Nature Conservancy — the world's largest conservation organization — are joining forces to help consumers to recycle more often to help protect drinking water sources throughout the United States.
As part of a new five-year partnership called "Recycle for Nature," PepsiCo will expand the availability of recycling bins in the U.S., beginning where they are needed most — at gas stations and convenience stores. According to a PepsiCo national survey, 81 percent of Americans say they would recycle beverage containers at a retail location if proper bins were available. At away-from-home locations, recycling bins are available only 12 percent of the time.
This project is being done as part of PepsiCo's collaboration with Wal-Mart Stores Inc. to increase recycling and investment in the Closed Loop Fund. The Fund is a program that will provide financing to municipalities and other organizations whose goal is to provide people access to recycling when and where they need it.
PepsiCo is now tackling both on-the-go and curbside recycling as part of its goal to help drive the U.S. beverage container recycling rate to 50 percent by 2018. The U.S. beverage container recycling rate is currently at 42 percent, according to the American Beverage Association.
TravelCenters of America LLC
TravelCenters of America LLC launched its annual campaign in support of the St. Christopher Truckers Development and Relief Fund (SCF), a non-profit organization that helps truck drivers suffering from financial hardship due to medical problems. The month-long campaign will run at all TA and Petro locations through Aug. 31.
During the event, guests and employees at TA and Petro Stopping Centers will be invited to make donations. As in past years, those making $1 donations will receive a commemorative wristband. New this year, antique silver SCF keychains are being offered for donations of $5 or more. Donations may be made at all TA and Petro restaurants, travel stores, fuel buildings and truck service facilities. One-hundred percent of donations will go to the SCF.
TravelCenters has been supporting drivers through the SCF since 2010. The TA and Petro annual campaign contributions mark the largest single donations the Fund receives each year. As of July 2014, the SCF has helped more than 1,058 truck drivers and their families with monthly bills, including utilities and mortgages.