How can 7-11, with its glaring fluorescent lights, coolers, and Slurpee machines go green? Well, they have had success with a pilot program in Japan, and are now expanding it to 100 new stores, as well as renovating 100 existing stores to the new green model.
The new stores will use LED lighting, solar-power, and reflective flooring to reduce the need for overhead lights. The stores will have roof mounted solar panels that will produce approximately 30% of the electricity used. The LED lights also use sensors to detect when less light is needed and automatically adjust.
There will also be charging stations for EVs at the stores.
In 2009, 7-11 opened its first US green store, but the cost of these stores (about 30% more than a standard 7-11) is prohibitive, especially for small franchise owners who would have to shoulder the cost. Government subsidies would only offset 10% of the cost of renovation at this time, and then energy savings, while substantial, is probably not enough to make up for the extra building cost.
Still, this is a step in the right direction. Even if stores started replacing the fluorescents with LEDs, it would be a huge energy savings.