Couche-Tard has utilized a number of innovative techniques to grow its business while remaining environmentally aware. We have maintained focus on energy efficiency, water resource management, recycling, waste management, environmental compliance and the provision of renewable fuels.
In order to ensure that our approach to environmental matters is consistent and cohesive across all our markets, Couche-Tard has established an Environmental Committee. This Committee oversees all environmental initiatives across the company’s operations in North America and Europe.
Some of the initiatives that have been implemented across our facilities include :
Using LED lighting, which is up to 90% more energy-efficient and has a longer lifespan than conventional light sources. We are continuously reviewing opportunities to expand the use of LED lighting across our entire store network, including in signage, ceiling lights, cooler vaults, gas canopies, perimeter lighting, car wash lighting and more.
Installing HVAC economizers in many US and Canadian stores to regulate temperature and airflow.
Installing lighting controllers in our offices as well as motion-activated lighting in areas such as utility rooms and washrooms.
Using occupancy sensors and lighting controllers in our stores, which can significantly reduce energy consumption.
Encouraging employees to turn off the lights when leaving a room. Employee awareness in this area (encouraged by, for instance, stickers next to light switches) can represent up to 5% energy savings.
Adding doors to many previously open cooler units, particularly in our European stores.
Entering into agreements with energy partners for state of the art equipment aiming at reducing energy consumption.
Committing capital specifically to energy management through the “One-Touch” energy program.
We also receive experienced and knowledgeable partner support in both North America and Europe to procure electricity in our respective deregulated markets. Their experience in these markets helps us insure we are buying right.
The One-Touch program is designed to identify and implement capital improvement opportunities for energy efficiency with limited impact on store operations. Through consideration of energy efficiency rebate opportunities – identification of high impact building systems and operating equipment, and logistical planning that ensured a store’s operations were impacted by only a single visit for all projects – we have been able to implement cost-effective capital improvements that will deliver energy efficiency benefits for years to come.
Program elements include:
Quarterly Awareness Newsletter: Sharing stories about corporate initiatives that help our people to be informed and engaged in efficiency best practices and in rolling out new initiatives. It also includes reporting on the progress made on energy and greenhouse gas reductions and “equivalent cars” taken off the road.
Energy Performance Report (EPR): A data platform for every program element.On a monthly basis we review consumption and cost data to better understand our performance. By looking at our performance company-wide, down to the site level, we are able to identify opportunities for improvement, act upon them and then measure the impact of those actions.
Energy Outlier Investigation: Leverages EPR data to identify those stores and stations that deviate farthest from the averages for energy, water and waste management in the Couche-Tard portfolio. This helps us target our mitigation efforts most effectively.
Rebate Management: Global agreements reducing costs for material and back-end rebates and the development of new products, while leveraging our partners’ expertise in local agreements across our network.
Strategic Planning: Working with strategic global partners to reduce consumption and maximize savings.
All these initiatives allow us to reduce both maintenance and energy costs over the life of the fixtures, without negatively impacting the experience we offer our customers.
Waste Water Management
We recycle the water used at all our car wash locations.
In Scandinavia, many of our car wash locations use detergents and conditioning chemicals certified to the Nordic Ecolabel or “Swan” environmental standards.
Recycling of paper and other materials has been widely implemented in our offices and stores. In Europe, recycling collection facilities are often provided for our customers.
Our offices are continually working towards achieving a paperless environment, for all files and documents, including receipts.
Waste Reduction and Management
Waste collections have been reduced from two to once a week in many regions, increasing efficiency, encouraging waste reduction and cutting the associated emissions.
Choosing not to offer plastic bags for every transaction at cash registers has led to a significant reduction in the use of plastic bags.
Management of Motor Fuel Dispensing Facilities
All our fuel dispensing systems have secondary containment and state-of-the-art monitoring systems to prevent releases to the environment.
On-going upgrade programs are replacing high risk systems and components.
Innovative emission control devices minimize the release of air pollutants during the filling of underground storage tanks.
Spill and overfill equipment is installed to ensure the filling of underground storage tanks is safe.
Couche-Tard’s operations, particularly those relating to the storage, transportation and sale of fuel products, are subject to numerous environmental laws and regulations in the countries in which it operates. They include, but are not limited to, laws and regulations that govern the quality of fuel products; ground pollution and emissions; discharges into air and water; the implementation of targets regarding the use of certain biofuel or renewable energy products; the handling and disposal of hazardous wastes; the use of vapour reduction systems to capture fuel vapour; and the remediation of contaminated sites.
Couche-Tard meets or exceeds those local, national and international requirements through testing, monitoring, reporting and inspection processes, throughout its network.
Couche-Tard is one of the largest retail blenders of renewable fuels in North America including Ethanol blending and Biodiesel. Biofuels are part of our customer offer across all our European markets, while in our larger markets (including Sweden and Norway) we provide charging stations for electric cars.