KYOTO, Japan - 7-Eleven Japan is investing in the environment by opening eco-friendly stores, the New York Times reports. The convenience store chain will have 100 such stores open in Japan by the end of this month.
Some of the changes in these stores include replacing fluorescent light bulbs with LEDs (light-emitting diodes), using solar energy to power the stores and adding electric vehicle chargers. Light-reflecting floors and sensors that adjust lighting automatically also are in place at the eco-konbinis, which exhibit their greenness via computer-generated images on an outside display.
Building eco-friendly stores can cost as much as 30 percent over a traditional convenience store. For franchise stores, that additional cost is shouldered mostly by the owners.
Franchisee Hiroshige Ozasa was happy to work with 7-Eleven on building a new eco-konbini. "Nowadays, people in Japan are really concerned about the environment," said Ozasa, "so I felt proud to have my store chosen to be the first one in Kyoto."
7-Eleven, owned by Seven & I Holdings in Japan, has been inserting eco-friendly items in its stores for several years. The company plans to build another 100 eco-friendly stores and convert an additional 100 existing stores to an eco-konbinis format by the end of this year. 7-Eleven Japan will continue to convert and build eco-friendly stores into the future, with the goal to convert all of its locations.
7-Eleven stores around the world are also experimenting with eco-friendly designs, such as locations in Hong Kong, Malaysia and the Philippines using LEDs. In 2010, the first green 7-Eleven opened in the United States at a location in DeLand, Fla.