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JERSEY CITY, N.J. — Convenience Store News has named Alon USA Energy Inc., the largest licensee of 7-Eleven in the United States, as its 2016 Fuels Leader of the Year. The annual award goes to a convenience store retailer that demonstrates exceptional vision and leadership in the development and marketing of innovative fuel solutions for its customers.
Alon is being honored specifically for its efforts to add carbon-neutral fueling stations in Texas and New Mexico, via a collaboration with Greenprint LLC’s Strive program.
Alon, operator of more than 300 convenience stores in Central and West Texas and New Mexico, now offers the Strive program at 107 locations in both Texas and New Mexico. For every gallon of Strive fuel sold, Alon and GreenPrint will plant trees and locally invest in other projects to neutralize the associated tailpipe emissions by up to 30 percent.
The companies plan to offer the program at all 309 Alon convenience stores in the future.
“For every gallon of fuel purchased in Albuquerque, N.M., or Lubbock, Midland or Odessa, Texas, Alon will plant trees locally and invest in certified carbon-reduction projects, such as reforestation and alternative energy production, to neutralize each driver’s associated carbon emissions by up to 30 percent,” Jonathan Ketchum, senior vice president of Alon Brands LLC, told CSNews.
Since its launch, Alon/7-Eleven with Strive has offset more than 25,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions as a direct result of Strive fuel purchases, and planted more than 5,500 trees in Texas and New Mexico, Ketchum shared.
“Because of the Strive Fuel program, we are making a difference in the atmosphere and our environment, as well as the communities and neighborhoods where we have our stores,” he said.
The retailer also partners with other organizations as part of the program, including the Arbor Day Foundation, Keep Albuquerque Beautiful and Keep Odessa Beautiful, to have a positive impact on local parks and schools as well.
“The best part is our customers don’t have to do anything differently — just pump the gas as they normally would, and they’re making a difference. That’s why we say, ‘Pump Here, Plant Trees,’” Ketchum explained. “And unlike alternative fuels, the Strive program requires no new software, hardware, new tanks, vehicles or equipment.”
In addition to carbon-neutral fueling, Alon offers a number of renewable fuels at its pumps, including E85 and compressed natural gas.
“Our fuel business has grown significantly over the years, increasing gallons sold every year since the company was formed,” concluded Ketchum.