BALTIMORE — Royal Farms is making progress on its 10-year sustainability journey.
The convenience store retailer and Protec Fuel Management LLC completed the first phase in a sustainability initiative designed to offer Royal Farms customers renewable fuel options with E85 Flex Fuel and Regular 88.
It marked the end of the first phase with a celebration at its 200th c-store, located in Oxon Hill, Maryland in the National Harbor waterfront district, on April 23.
Royal Farms began its sustainability efforts in 2008, which include building all new stores to meet LEED-certification requirements, sustainability education for staff and recycling waste cooking oil into biodiesel.
While the programs have at times added cost and complexity to projects, "the company's unwavering commitment is making an impact," it said.
According to Royal Farms, cleaner ethanol fuels have already displaced enough gasoline to cut greenhouse gas emissions by the equivalent of planting 54,319 trees and letting them grow for 10 years. The National Harbor location is the 12th Royal Farms store in Maryland or Virginia to introduce renewable fuels with Protec.
"We are proud to lead the way with renewable fuels; offering higher quality and better value is the cornerstone upon which Royal Farms was built," said Tom Ruszin, fuel and environmental leader. "It is gratifying that our whole team — from the fry cook at our smallest store to our corporate executives — are working together to make a meaningful impact in our home state of Maryland and across the region."
Boca Raton, Fla.-based Protec designed, installed and supplied the first E85 station in Texas in 2006. The company's focus on delivering comprehensive retail solutions has culminated in the successful completion of more than 400 stations during a three-year, five-state partnership with the USDA's Farm Service Agency program known as the Biofuels Infrastructure Partnership.
"The Mid-Atlantic region is not only important to Protec, but holds tremendous potential for forward-thinking retailers like Royal Farms that are ready to differentiate their stations by offering customers domestically made, cleaner fuel options at great prices," said Steve Walk, managing partner of Protec Fuel. "Protec has also worked with a number of other parties that contributed to this success."
Baltimore-based Royal Farms operates 200 convenience stores in Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.