ATLANTA—What does having a great new food concept in your stores have to do with sustainability? More than you think. “With sustainability a top concern among consumers of all ages (3 out of 4 customers would support a business more if they knew what it was doing about sustainability*), touting sustainability efforts is an important strategy for convenience stores looking to encourage more consumers into their stores.” Pete Davis, CEO at GreenPrint, told NACS Daily.
Most retailers are not proactively telling their customers anything about their sustainability efforts outside of what might be in an annual Sustainability Report. “From LED lighting and hand dryers, to fresh, locally sourced foods, retailers are engaging more in running sustainable facilities, but often, their customers know little about those efforts,” Davis said.
Convenience stores have a great opportunity to take a holistic view of their entire operation to see how sustainability messaging can flow from the forecourt to inside the store. “There’s a real opportunity for retailers to piece their whole sustainability message together under one branded program or effort,” Davis said.
To develop a holistic sustainable message, retailers should consider these steps:
- Start with a sustainability inventory. The most commonly overlooked areas include LED lighting, low-flush toilets, energy efficient refrigerators, renewable energy-powered hand dryers and participation in food bank/feeding programs.
- Contact vendor partners. See what your vendors are doing in sustainability to add those areas to your overall list.
- Develop messaging to tie it all together. Throughout your store, position signage to inform customers of your sustainability efforts.
Retailers have amazing sustainable stories to tell—ones that will resonate with customers—but often that doesn’t come across consistently throughout their entire operation. “You want your customers to come along on your sustainability journey, so tell your story in an engaging way across multiple touchpoints both inside and outside your store,” Davis said.
* NACS Convenience Matters podcast #184, 1:40 mark
This article is brought to you by GreenPrint and is the first installment of a two-part series about how to tell your sustainability story. Look for more on this topic in the Sept.12 edition of NACS Daily.