Renewable Fuel Helps C-Stores Stay on Top of the Sustainability Trend

By Jon Scharingson, Renewable Energy Group Inc.

If it seems like the sustainability trend is everywhere, that’s because it is.

  • Walmart recently launched Project Gigaton, with a stated goal of reducing emissions in its supply chain by 1 gigaton by 2030.
  • The Hershey Company is on the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices, which select companies based on their long-term economic, social and environmental asset management plans.
  • LEED certification has become an aspiration for many convenience stores opening new buildings.
  • California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) calls for the use of cleaner-burning transportation fuels. (Read the new REG white paper on biodiesel’s role in the LCFS by downloading it here.)

From fleets to individual drivers, from companies to public organizations, the sustainability trend has taken hold and shows no sign of slowing down. Forward-thinking c-stores are already tapping into their customers’ desire to be green by adopting sustainable practices both inside their stores and out.

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“I think the sustainability factor is very important,” Jim Pirolli, Vice President of Fuels at the Kum & Go c-store chain, said in a CSD blog post I wrote last fall. “Reducing carbon emissions and replacing fossil fuels with something that’s more environmentally friendly is a message that a lot of people can get behind, whether they’re fleets or individual drivers.”

One of the environmentally friendly solutions his company offers is biodiesel blends ranging from 5 to 20 percent at its diesel dispensers. “Everything we do on fuel is based on customer demand and quality, foremost,” Pirolli said

Perhaps the best glimpse at the future of sustainability and fuel is found in California, where so many trends start. The LCFS aims to reduce the carbon intensity of transportation fuels by 10 percent by 2020. Obligated parties and fleets are turning to biodiesel as a solution. Biodiesel volumes in California increased 1,196 percent over the past six years, and the average biodiesel blend level in the state recently experienced a 65.7 percent year-over-year increase.

These stats and other insights are found in the new white paper from REG, “Lower Carbon Intensity Solution — How Biodiesel Has Become the Answer to Emission-cutting Initiatives.” Download it by clicking here.

No matter where you do business, you’d be well-served by understanding what’s happening in California. Shelby Neal, Director of State Governmental Affairs at the National Biodiesel Board, says in the white paper that “there is a distinct growth trend with respect to low carbon policies,” and he says they come up frequently in his conversations with lawmakers across the U.S.

I’d welcome the opportunity to talk with you about this or other topics. Contact me at (515) 239-8042 or

Jon Scharingson is Executive Director, Sales & Marketing, at REG. Visit for more information.