7-Eleven, Inc. (SEI) is committed to doing its part to reduce the company’s impact on the environment. We recognize the importance of strategically investing in energy initiatives and sustainability programs that increase efficiency and reduce resource consumption and waste. In FY2019, the company continued to make progress, most notably exceeding its CO2e emissions goal ahead of schedule, by implementing sustainability measures that focus on energy conservation and efficiency.
Reduce CO2e emissions in stores by 20% by 2027* (FY2015 baseline)
To enhance SEI’s role as positive stewards of the environment, the company is a member of the Retail Industry Leaders Association’s (RILA) Retail Sustainability Committee. The RILA Sustainability Committee is an industry-wide educational forum for the largest U.S. retailers. It brings its members together to share leading practices, identify future trends, benchmark with peers, and collaborate on common industry sustainability challenges.
SEI is committed to reducing energy consumption and improving efficiency and set a goal to reduce CO2e emissions in stores by 20% by 2027, compared with FY2015 levels. In FY2019, through its energy efficient measures, SEI reduced its CO2e emissions by 4.55 MTCO2e/1,000 Sqft year over year from FY2018 and by 12.43 MTCO2e/1,000 Sqft from FY2015. SEI reduced CO2e emissions by 28% from FY2015 to FY2019, exceeding its FY2027 goal eight years early. This is equivalent to greenhouse gas emissions from approximately 69,289 passenger vehicles for one year.
In July 2019, SEI announced the adoption of Honeywell Solstice N40 (R-448A) refrigerant as SEI’s standard for remote condensers supporting their refrigeration cases installed across the U.S. and Canada. Solstice N40 is the most widely accepted, lowest global warming potential (GWP), nonflammable replacement for R-404A in stores globally. Based on hydrofluoroolefin (HFO) technology, Solstice N40 offers GWP that is approximately 60% lower than legacy HFC refrigerants like R-404A. In addition, Solstice N40 also consumes less energy. In the U.S. and European supermarket trials, in comparison to R-404A, Solstice N40 demonstrated an average of 5% lower energy consumption in low-temperature applications and between 5 to 15% lower energy consumption in medium-temperature applications.
SEI's LED lighting program is part of the company’s energy-efficient store design standard and is a significant contributor to the company’s CO2 reduction goal. In FY2019, the company installed LED lighting in 689 stores. As of December 31, 2019, 7,002 stores feature LED lighting. Stores that changed from fluorescent to LED lighting can achieve an estimated annual energy saving effect of 38,756 kWh per store.
In addition to their energy-efficient benefits, LED lights eliminate the use of hazardous materials, comply with local regulations to reduce light pollution, support store safety measures and enhance the customer shopping experience.
Heating and cooling efficiency is another effective measure SEI implements to decrease its overall energy consumption. In FY2019, SEI installed 1,042 energy-efficient HVAC units contributing to its store energy saving efforts. Between FY2008 and FY2019, 10,005 HVAC units have been installed, enabling stores to achieve an estimated energy savings effect of 7,000 kWh per unit, per year.
SEI stores’ energy management systems (EMS) enable remote control of heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) and refrigerant equipment, which yield significant energy consumption. The systems monitor, control and optimize the performance of energy-consuming equipment, and generate real-time data to perform diagnostics and optimization routines to reduce energy consumption and manage costs. In FY2019, the company installed EMS in 293 stores. Currently, 6,524 stores have EMS installed, enabling stores to achieve an estimated energy savings effect of 16,323 kWh per store, per year.
In FY2018, while maintaining the company’s commitment to existing energy conservation projects, SEI turned its focus toward renewable energy. SEI signed an agreement with TXU Energy to purchase 100 percent Texas wind energy for all its Texas stores located in competitive energy markets. With more than 10,000 wind turbines in the state, Texas ranks first in the United States for both installed and under-construction wind capacity and is home to four of the top 10 largest wind farms in the nation.
In FY2019, SEI purchased 288,467 MWh renewable energy from TXU Energy and provided it to approximately 820 stores in Texas. This renewable energy program is expected to reduce SEI’s carbon footprint by an estimated 13% while providing significant operating expense savings. 13% of electricity consumed by SEI is from renewable sources.
SEI understands that efficient use of water helps reduce the demands on our water supply and preserve an essential natural resource. To reduce water consumption, SEI utilizes low-flow aerator faucets as part of our standard energy-efficient design plan for all new stores.
Electric vehicle fast chargers provide added convenience for electric-vehicle drivers and cleaner air for the surrounding community. In FY2019, as a test, SEI introduced its first electric-vehicle (EV) charging stations in the United States that it owns and operates under the 7-Eleven brand. SEI installed two ChargePoint Express 250 fast-charging stations at a 7-Eleven store in Pomona, California. The stations can deliver up to an 80% charge in about 30 minutes. Pairing the two stations provides more power to a single station and allows the two stations to share power. One station can charge two EVs at the same time when sharing power. Each station can deliver 62.5 kW of charge; when paired, the stations can provide 125 kW.
SEI partnered with Southern California Edison (SCE) for the installation. Through its Charge Ready program, SCE installs, maintains and covers installation costs for the EV charging infrastructure, while the participant owns, operates and maintains the charging stations. The 7-Eleven site is a part of ChargePoint’s network of more than 33,000 EV charging locations in the United States and will be featured on the ChargePoint app, which enables EV drivers to locate their nearest station, get directions to the site and start the charging process from their smartphone. 7-Eleven began its EV program in FY2011 and now has a total of 16 EV chargers at 14 locations in California, Illinois, New York and Oregon.
Electric-vehicle (EV) charging stations
Number of 7‒Eleven, Inc. Stores and Environmental Data Associated with Store Operations
|Number of stores||9,317||9,387||9,682|
|GHG emissions*1,2 (market-based) (1,000t-CO2e)||1,017||961||819|
|CO2 emissions*1,2 (market-based) (1,000 t-CO2)||1,012||959||817|
|Water usage*1(1,000 m3)||16,456||11,365||10,892|
Packaging protects the quality and safety of products, provides information about ingredients, and adds convenience. 7‑Eleven is working to reduce the environmental impact of proprietary packaging by using eco-friendly materials and reducing packaging materials.
Through its proprietary products, SEI seeks to offer premium products at a value while switching to environmentally-friendly packaging. In 2016, SEI set a goal to shift to eco-friendly packaging for 100% of 7-Eleven private brand products by 2027.
SEI’s eco-friendly packaging solutions include using materials that are made from renewable or recycled content or are compostable or recyclable. Materials include post-consumer or post-industrial recycled or plant-based content. Whenever possible, the company reduces packaging without compromising product quality or safety. As of December 31, 2019, 72.3% of SEI’s proprietary packaging is eco-friendly.
To reduce plastic use and appeal to eco-conscious consumers, in FY2019 SEI fully transitioned from its everyday polypropylene plastic straws to a new plant-based plastic, eco-friendly fountain straw, ending petroleum-based plastic straw use for cold dispensed beverages.
SEI’s new poly-lactic acid (PLA) straws are environmentally friendly, 100% compostable, and are the sustainable alternative to polypropylene plastic straws. The PLA material used to make the straws is made from corn and other related source materials and is certified compostable by the Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI). The straws are individually wrapped in paper, so the entire product is compostable and biodegradable. These fountain and Slurpee® drink straws meet state requirements for the replacement of plastic-polypropylene straws. SEI is one of the largest and earliest retailers to transition completely PLA straws in the United States. In addition to providing an eco-friendly solution to plastic, PLA straws offer a better customer experience and a lower cost over paper straws. SEI is also assessing plant-based options to replace plastic stir sticks and utensils.
Poly-lactic acid (PLA) straws
To further SEI’s sustainability measures, in FY2019 the company tested a new eco-friendly plastic bag made from 40% post-consumer recycled plastic. A pilot trial to test the bag’s performance and consumer experience was conducted in select areas. After a successful test period, the bag was approved for national rollout in FY2020. Using 40% recycled plastic content helps reduce the company’s environmental footprint by reducing the consumption of raw materials, energy consumption and carbon emissions in processing, and the amount of consumer waste and plastic going into landfills.
A plastic bag using 40% recycled plastic
In FY2019, SEI redesigned and rolled out a new pizza box to improve packaging performance and increase its sustainability. The new hexagonal design reduced the size of the box and consumption of paperboard by 6.25%. In addition, to reducing materials, the box is 100% sustainable, made from corrugated cardboard certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI). The FSC promotes responsible management of the world’s forests. Their certification process tracks the chain of custody of the wood fibers used in the making of paper products to sustainable forests. The SFI is the nonprofit leader in sustainable forestry through its work in standards, conservation, community, and education.
SEI is also assessing its hot beverage cups, evaluating options such as a double-wall paper cup to eliminate cardboard sleeves.
A hexagonal design pizza box
Seeking continuous improvements in packaging led to additional progress in eliminating or reducing plastic. SEI replaced its large chicken wings box with a lightweight paper corrugate alternative. The switch to a paper-based container eliminated 745,000 lbs. of plastic. In addition, SEI introduced its next generation fountain cups that are lighter in weight using less plastic and 100% recyclable.
Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are fluorine coatings applied to packaging surfaces to prevent moisture or grease from leaking through and are now considered harmful to the environment. SEI proactively began replacing affected packaging with alternatives like molded fiber clamshells.
To provide high quality, environmentally-friendly products, in 2019 SEI continued to expand its sustainably-sourced coffee program with two Rainforest Alliance (RFA)※ Certified varieties—Seven Reserve® Sumatra and Seven Reserve® El Salvador. With the introduction of these two, limited-time brews, SEI has reached another milestone with its fresh-brewed coffee. More than half—56%—is now made from Rainforest Alliance Certified™ coffee beans.
The ethically-sourced Kinara Sumatra Mandheling blend is SEI’s first Rainforest Alliance Certified™ coffee from the Asian-Pacific region, and the company’s sixth brew to carry the RFA seal. The beans are grown by the Rahmat Kinara co-op of small-holding farmers in the volcanic highlands of Sumatra, the sixth largest island in the world.
El Salvador Bourbon Single Origin premium coffee is SEI’s first coffee to be sourced directly from independent family farmers. El Salvador Bourbon is SEI’s seventh brew to carry the Rainforest Alliance Certified™ seal.
Since the fiscal year ended February 28, 2017, SEI has introduced a total of seven Rainforest Alliance Certified coffees—all responsibly grown—from Nicaragua, Mexico, Peru, Sumatra, El Salvador, and Colombia, as well as an African blend from Ethiopia and Rwanda. Single-origin 100% Colombian Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee is a permanent offering and top-seller on the hot beverage bar.
Seven Reserve™ Sumatra
Seven Reserve™ El Salvador
7‒Eleven, Inc. aims to uphold its responsibilities as a good corporate citizen and contribute to local communities where it has opened stores. The Head Office and franchisees work together to promote social contribution activities.
The Project A-Game program is a community outreach program created to provide meaningful youth development opportunities through education and play, so children establish a strong foundation that supports their future success.
Franchisees and corporate store leaders contribute to youth development in their communities by applying for grants to support local schools, youth sports organizations, law enforcement agencies and community organizations. Grants, which are jointly funded by local franchisees and SEI, help provide critical funding for academic, fitness, safety or hunger relief programs for youth.
In FY2019, SEI and its franchisees awarded more than 500 Project A-Game grants to over 420 organizations, a community investment of approximately $400,000 that impacted nearly 160,000 children. Since its inception, SEI and its franchisees have awarded more than 4,650 grants, a community investment of almost $3 million. Grants have been used to underwrite initiatives including math and science projects, tutoring, school supplies and sporting equipment to ensure children have the resources and inspiration they need to stay in school.
Police departments across the country count on local residents to help them do their jobs and keep neighborhoods safe by observing their surroundings and reporting when things seem amiss. To do that, it is important that officers start building positive relationships with citizens early, even when they are kids. For 24 years, SEI and its popular Operation Chill® program have been doing just that.
Operation Chill is SEI’s longest-running and most popular community outreach program that recognizes kids for good behavior. It is also designed to help reduce crime and enhance relations between police and youth. Each year, through Operation Chill, SEI works with law enforcement agencies across the United States and Canada to distribute free Slurpee® drink coupons to kids found doing good deeds or exhibiting positive behavior. Examples of rewarded behavior might include helping another person, following safety and traffic laws, or taking part in a community- or police-sponsored event. In addition to encouraging positive behaviors, Operation Chill provides opportunities for officers to establish a connection with kids in a neighborhood.
Each coupon is good for a free small Slurpee® drink redeemable at 7-Eleven stores. During FY2019, SEI issued over 1.4 million Slurpee drink coupons to more than 1,100 law enforcement agencies. Coupons were distributed during the summer months and back-to-school season. Since the program’s inception in 1995, Operation Chill has grown to include more than 1,100 local law enforcement agencies in the United States and Canada. Over 22 million coupons have been distributed to officers on the beat in cities and towns where SEI operates stores.
Employees with strong abilities are vital for SEI to achieve its business goals and objectives. SEI understands the value of learning and development to build employee competencies for personal growth and to maximize employee potential.