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IRVING, Texas — 7-Eleven Inc. is taking another step in its quest for sustainability.
Following the introduction of two Rainforest Alliance Certified coffees, the convenience store retailer is making its biggest product commitment to sustainability with the switch to a new Rainforest Alliance Certified single-origin Colombian coffee.
The new brew — which made its debut in June — will replace the Colombian coffee now offered on the hot beverage bar, and is 7-Eleven’s first permanent coffee variety to switch to sustainable sourcing.
7-Eleven debuted its first Rainforest Certified Alliance coffee, Nicaraguan single-origin coffee from Matagalpa, in November. The brew is made exclusively from 100-percent Arabica beans harvested from Nicaragua's famed Matagalpa region and is a full-bodied, medium-dark roast. A second single-origin coffee from the Chiapas growing region of Mexico was added in April. Made exclusively from beans harvested in the mountainous highlands of southern Mexico, the full-bodied, dark roast features notes of cocoa for a smooth, clean finish.
With the addition of the certified single-origin Colombian coffee as a permanent offering and other sustainable limited-time varieties planned for the future, between one-third and one-half of the 7-Eleven coffee lineup will be Rainforest Alliance Certified.
Carrying the Rainforest Alliance Certified seal with the little green frog means the 100 percent Arabica beans for 7-Eleven stores' new coffee are sourced from coffee growers whose farms are required to meet strict standards designed to protect the environment, conserve wildlife and promote the well-being of local communities.
"7-Eleven shares our belief that everyday actions add up to meaningful impact," said Alex Morgan, Rainforest Alliance global director of Markets Transformation. "Each cup of sustainably sourced coffee is one that helps protect the environment."
The latest sustainable coffee moves come one year after 7-Eleven outlined steps to reach measurable corporate social responsibility (CSR) goals to reduce its environmental footprint. The retailer's CSR mission consists of three focus areas: planet, products and people. 7-Eleven will use 2015 as a baseline as it reduces its carbon footprint and increases community engagement in the United States and Canada by concentrating on energy, packaging and philanthropy, as CSNews Online previously reported.
"We've set specific, measurable goals that are good for the business and environment," said 7-Eleven President and CEO Joe DePinto. "We've already taken significant steps to reduce our carbon footprint, and we're committed to finding even more ways of maximizing energy efficiency and sustainability."
The “planet pillar” of 7-Eleven’s CSR goals including reducing its energy footprint in stores by 20 percent by 2025. Earlier this year, the retailer signed an agreement with Dallas-based TXU Energy to purchase 100-percent Texas wind energy for all its 425 Texas c-stores. Starting June 1, 2018, the 8-year wind energy agreement will impact 425 stores and is expected to reduce the c-store operator's footprint by 6.7 percent while providing significant operating expense savings.
As part of its CSR objectives, 7‑Eleven will continue to seek out responsibly sourced coffees and other products and packaging with less environmental impact, according to the company.
Irving-based 7-Eleven operates, franchises and/or licenses more than 60,000 stores in 17 countries, including 10,700 in North America.