Alon USA Energy Inc. has launched a new initiative to reduce its environmental impact through the conversion of its 170-vehicle fleet to hybrid and clean diesel power.
Alon officials, flanked by Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert and Texas Business for Clean Air Executive Director Margaret Keliher, announced the new environmental stewardship plans on Dec. 16, at Fuel City in Downtown Dallas. Alon refines and markets transportation fuels and other petroleum products, and is believed to be the first independent refiner of its size issuing a mandate to reduce corporate fuel use and environmental impact through a clean fleet program.
Jeff Morris, Alon’s president and CEO noted that the seemingly counterintuitive decision is part of Alon’s ongoing commitment to reducing green house gas emissions and operating its refineries, convenience stores and day-to-day business activities in a cleaner, more sustainable manner.
“Our environmental efforts historically have focused on innovation in the petroleum refining process, running low-emission facilities and maximizing the efficiency of our operations,” Morris said. “Today, we’re taking our commitment to a new level by changing the way we use the fuel that’s at the heart of our business, both to make additional improvements in our own efforts and in hopes that other organizations will take measures to reduce their environmental footprints and be a part of the greater solution for a sustainable future.”
The company’s retail segment, Alon Brands, is extending the clean theme to the nearly 1,000 FINA locations in its network. Kyle McKeen, president and CEO of Alon Brands, explained that the program will apply to both vehicles and retail facilities.
“In addition to promoting a cleaner, more efficient fleet, we’re launching new activities that will further elevate the standard of cleanliness and efficiency throughout our multi-state convenience store network,” McKeen said. “Customer perceptions of our entire company often start with what they see and experience in our retail outlets, and customers equate cleanliness with safety, which is why clean is just as important to our retail team as it is to our colleagues who produce clean fuels.”
Alon’s new initiative also relates to broader city- and state-wide movements, such as Green Dallas and Texas Business for Clean Air, that highlight the opportunity, role and significance of the business community in enhancing environmental quality. In his remarks, Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert expressed a common theme of the importance for all segments of the community to take action to protect the environment.
“Today’s announcement reinforces the importance of sustainable business and sustainable fleets-an issue that has been a priority with my administration and the City of Dallas for a long time,” said Leppert. “Alon is not only demonstrating the business case for sustainability, but showing other businesses – large and small – the importance of making deliberate decisions about their environmental footprints.
Former Dallas County Judge Margaret Keliher, executive director of Texas Business for Clean Air, commended the example that Alon is providing to other enterprises with the new initiative, and reminded attendees that the business environment and the environment are not in competition with each other.
“Moving toward cleaner vehicles is not only good for business… it’s good for the environment,” said Keliher. “Businesses have a responsibility to protect the environment and Alon’s efforts should serve as an example to other organizations, both in our state and across the country.”
To illustrate the direction being taken by Alon in the selection of vehicles for its corporate fleet, four different cars and light-duty trucks were on display, including a Ford Fusion Hybrid, GMC Sierra Hybrid, Volkswagen Jetta TDI clean diesel and Volkswagen Touareg TDI clean diesel. Vehicles at the event were provided by Boardwalk Volkswagen, Sam Pack’s Five Star Ford and Sewell GMC.
Alon USA Energy, Inc., headquartered in Dallas, Texas, is an independent refiner and marketer of petroleum products, operating primarily in the South Central, Southwestern and Western regions of the U.S. Alon also operates more than 300 convenience stores primarily in west Texas and New Mexico, substantially under the 7-Eleven and FINA brand names and supplies motor fuels to these stores primarily from its Big Spring refinery. In addition, Alon markets under the FINA branded name to about 700 additional locations.