Many people think of the oil and gas industry as the epitome of unsustainable – Big Oil has been vilified by environmentalists since the beginning of the green movement. But even if the business has had its share of environmental disasters – there are entrepreneurs who sincerely want to do their part to incorporate as many green and sustainable practices as possible into a new paradigm for running local business. Bob Barman, and his wife Katy, are small business owners who have poured their own commitment to sustainability into the design of their new ExtraMile® service station soon to open in Beaverton. This will not be your average drive by gas station, but a complete green overhaul from the “Eco-roof”, to Biodiesel pumps to the green heating and lighting – Bob really is going the “extra mile” to go green.
Beaverton ExtraMile innovates the franchise model
Bob and Katy are not just local retailers driving innovation with a new green business launch. Like most gas stations, ExtraMile® in Beaverton is a franchise. Instead of just taking a party line, cookie cutter approach to franchise ownership, Bob is thinking globally and acting locally– turning his ExtraMile convenience store into a sustainable, energy efficient location through a number of innovations in the industry:
· An eco-roof featuring an all-grass canopy and solar panels will produce all of the energy the station needs to operate, plus a surplus to give back to the grid
· Expansion of fuel offerings will include environmentally friendly biodiesel and even an EVO electric car charging station
· Geothermal energy will produce heat and air conditioning for the building and kitchen
· Working closely with Energy Trust Oregon, Bob convinced local legislators to change their restrictions on LED lighting for signs and now the entire facility have energy efficient LED lighting.
Once the store reopens in September, the renovations will result in a 70 percent reduction in energy usage at the remodeled location! Bob explains his environmental commitment by saying, “My goal is to be the pied piper in my industry. People have to care about the environment because you are either part of the solution or you are part of the problem. All of us, in whichever industry we are in, can do better for the environment. You can make a difference.”
Mayor or Beaverton will present an award to Bob Barman
At the upcoming City Council meeting, Beaverton mayor Denny Doyle will award Bob with a special “Beaverton 4 Business” award, recognizing significant achievements in business innovation in the Beaverton area. Bob is currently pursuing LEED certification for his store. If he succeeds, he will be among an elite few: according to the U.S. Green Building Council, approximately 268 buildings hold LEED certifications within the state of Oregon, and only six of these are in Beaverton. Perhap’s Bob’s leadership will encourage others to follow suit.