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Kum & Go's efforts have not gone unnoticed. It was recently recognized by Iowa's Metro Waste Authority as the large business winner of its annual Environmental Impact Awards, according to the Business Record. And as Adam Hammes, the company's manager of sustainability, explained, efficiency is an important part of each Kum & Go project.
Proponents of each initiative must present a business case proving its cost effectiveness before it is launched, he told the news outlet, and in most cases, upfront investment in well-conceived green design, though more costly in the short term, makes sense over time.
"It's more expensive to do that kind of store design, so we budget for that and just know that it's an investment in our environmental/sustainability effort," he said. "A lot of times, convenience stores dabble in environmental stewardship and sustainability, but after they see what the cost is, they scale right back. We're in it for the long haul."
Environmental efforts included in new store designs eventually become retrofit changes at existing, older c-stores, he added.
Being a family-owned company makes it easier to act in an environmentally responsible manner, Hammes said. "We have a lot of investment not only in the company but in Des Moines and the communities we're in, so we can think a little long-term versus with public companies, (where) there's a tendency to do quarterly reporting and that's what drives things."
Kum & Go operates more than 400 convenience stores in 11 states: Iowa, Arkansas, Colorado, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wyoming.