Clark's Remarks
7-Eleven: Committed to Green Building and Veterans

7-Eleven: Committed to Green Building and Veterans

U.S. Army Capt. Robert Kemna, a 33-year-old veteran with 15 years of service, cuts the ribbon at the grand opening of his 7-Eleven franchise in Miami as his wife, Liliana, and 7-Eleven officials look on.

Our firm recently assisted in the Green Globes certification of a 7-Eleven convenience store in Miami. I served as sustainability consultant/Green Globes professional and commissioning authority for the new-construction project, which has the distinction of being not only the first 7-Eleven store in the world to achieve Green Globes certification, but a franchise awarded to a U.S. military veteran under 7-Eleven’s Operation: Take Command program.

As I learned over the course of the project, 7-Eleven has a strong commitment to U.S. military veterans, which—as an Army veteran myself—I take very seriously. Operation: Take Command is just one example of that commitment, but it’s a big one: a national franchise-giveaway competition, the winner of which receives a waiver of the franchise fee, valued at up to $190,000, for a 7-Eleven store in the continental United States.

Operation: Take Command is a multiphase contest for honorably discharged veterans who are over 21, who are U.S. citizens (or permanent residents), and who have excellent credit and at least three years of leadership, retail, or restaurant experience. Phases include interviews, a Facebook video contest, and a personal interview with 7-Eleven President and Chief Executive Officer Joe DePinto, a West Point graduate and Army veteran. In the case of this project, DePinto couldn’t pick just one winner from the three finalists, so he awarded stores to all of them: the one here in South Florida and one each in Texas and Virginia. In the case of the Miami store, 7-Eleven purchased the land, built the store, and provided the fixtures and equipment. For all qualified veterans, 7-Eleven offers special military incentives and programs, including up to 20 percent off the initial franchise fee (maximum of $50,000) and special financing options.

The Miami store, which received the One Green Globe rating from the Green Building Initiative, demonstrated that 7-Eleven also is committed to environmental-efficiency practices. Key contributors to the certification included an integrated-design approach that was specified at the kickoff meeting, used throughout the design process, and continually included Green Globes as a consideration; the preservation of large palm trees in the landscape design; exterior lighting that doesn’t “trespass” onto neighbors’ properties; the use of high-efficiency air-conditioning equipment, LED lighting, thermally efficient building materials, and demand-controlled ventilation (DCV) to significantly reduce expected electric-energy consumption; aggressive water-conservation measures to reduce both domestic and irrigation water consumption; the diversion of 85 percent of construction waste from landfills; and the use of paints, floor materials, and sealants with no or low volatile-organic-compounds content.

Prior to constructing this Green Globes-certified store, 7-Eleven had achieved LEED certification of a new store in San Pedro Garza Garcia, Mexico.

So, the next time you are buying a Slurpee, let 7-Eleven know how much you appreciate its support of veterans and its commitment to green building.

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