Sustainability Playbook Helps C-Stores Tout Initiatives

The robust online NACS resource can help retailers build sustainable and resilient business strategies. 

July 27, 2020

By Chris Blasinksy

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Sustainability has many definitions, but there are two common strategic goals most companies embrace: Reduce expenses and grow the business for future generations. Recognizing that every company is at a different place in their sustainability journey, NACS created an online resource that can help convenience retailers take credit for initiatives that are performing well and identify opportunities to do more.

The new NACS Sustainability Playbook is designed to help retailers advance the areas most relevant to their businesses today, while considering how other areas could transform the business for the future. And as retailers continue to navigate “business as unusual” during the coronavirus pandemic, the NACS Sustainability Playbook can help businesses develop long-term resiliency strategies that identify ways to  reduce costs, grow their customer base, create efficiencies and foster a community spirit.

The resource covers eight sections:

  • Defining Sustainability: Rather than focusing on profitability, businesses are also focusing on the triple bottom line: people, planet and prosperity.​
  • Strategic Sustainability: Sustainability has become a strategic goal for many companies to protect the long-term health of the company.​
  • Business Drivers for Sustainability: For some convenience retailers, the business drivers for sustainability range from cost savings to enhancing brand value.​
  • Sustainability Opportunities in Convenience Retail: Improving operational efficiencies helps reduce costs, as well as create environmental and sustainability benefits.​
  • Product Packaging and Selection: Consumers increasingly want better packaging options and products that help reduce their environmental impact.​
  • Alternative Fuels: More convenience retailers are factoring alternative fuels like electric, biodiesel and natural gas into their long-term strategic plans.​
  • Recycling: Implementing or enhancing a recycling program can help retailers enhance their brand and improve consumer perception.​
  • Marketing and Promotion: Sustainability efforts have become convenience retail’s “clean little secret”—it’s time to tell the industry’s positive story.​
  • NACS Sustainability Assessment: Use this downloadable tool to rate the effectiveness of the sustainability efforts in your stores. You’ll be asked to log in to access.​ 
  • Glossary of Terms and Resources: Common terms used throughout this playbook and recommended resources for more information.​

Since the early days of “green to gold” business tactics that some retailers embraced more than a decade ago, businesses are now operating in a changing world where sustainability has evolved into long-term strategic planning. Explore the opportunities that can help transform your business with the NACS Sustainability Playbook.

Chris Blasinsky is the NACS content communications strategist; she can be reached at, and on Twitter and LinkedIn.