The future of fuel (with a slice of pizza): Casey's Case Study
Since opening its first store 53 years ago, Casey's has anchored its mission on a single purpose: to make the lives of its guests and communities better every day. Never has this commitment been more evident than now, as the company embraces renewable fuels as part of its commitment to climate change and expands its footprint in the biodiesel space.
Headquarters: Ankeny, Iowa
Operates: More than 2,300 stores in 16 states with more than 40,000 employees
Advocates for biodiesel blends of B11-B20 year-round
Supplies roughly 2 million gallons of REG biodiesel to customers per year
Casey's Gets Sustainability Right With Its Strategic Move Toward Biodiesel
"We have a long history of bringing communities together," says Nathaniel Doddridge, Vice President of Fuels at Casey's.
Casey's has long been known as a beloved convenience store that sells famous fresh-baked pizzas and pastries (including its popular sprinkled donuts). Its small-town pantry of groceries has served loyal customers for decades — and communities have literally come together while sipping coffee, sharing stories and pumping gas in any number of its more than 2,300 locations.
How Biofuels Bring Value
While Casey's has only been in the biofuels space for the past several years, it hasn't been for lack of foresight. For years, the company was strategically looking for a partner that could push it into the future.
In 2017, Casey’s connected with Renewable Energy Group, Inc. (REG) to discuss tax incentives that would help make the company more competitive. At that time, Casey's was competing in a market with other companies that were already offering biodiesel blends to their guests. The competitive climate made Casey's more committed than ever to finding a partner that would bring value to the company and "cut to the truth" with guests and commercial customers about the important value of biodiesel and the benefits it can bring. Reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and supporting our Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) efforts has remained important to the company.
"REG has been a significant supplier of pure biodiesel and biodiesel blends," says Tony Spuzello, manager of commercial fuels for Casey's. "Each gallon of biodiesel we blend into our petroleum diesel helps lower GHG emissions and support our ESG efforts."
Spuzello says biofuels bring value to Casey's, its guests and its commercial customers by stretching the diesel supply and addressing shareholder and guest expectations of environmental responsibility.
Advancing the Future of Casey's
The largest Casey's travel center recently opened in Ankeny, Iowa - complete with every amenity to attract customers of all types: a flank of gas pumps with choices for fuel; ample (free) parking for trucks; CAT scale diesel and DEF at the dispensers; showers and laundry - all on-site with biodiesel blending and options that include several grades of gasoline.
"We installed a B100 tank at our new Ankeny location because we wanted to be more forward-thinking as we think about fuel products," Doddridge says. "This ensures that we can optimize our biodiesel blends through the summer and the winter so our customers get the optimal blend in their trucks."
"We're at the intersection of two of the largest interstates in the country. And we have a great alternative to our competitors with great amenities and fuel choices that others simply don't have," says Spuzello. "Anytime we have a vendor who is willing to simplify the supply chain, we are grateful for that help. REG is exceptional in that area. We have no doubt that REG's policies and the fact that they're on the forefront of the future will help us get where we want to be."
The Casey's + REG Partnership
It was imperative to Casey's leadership that the company partnered with a supplier that was exceptional — not only in the quality of its products but also as an industry leader in the future of renewable fuels.
"With REG, together, we’re forward-thinking and in lockstep on policy about where biodiesel is going," Doddridge says. "And that's not just Iowa, but throughout the U.S."
Being able to rely on quality products — and getting them consistently — is another important aspect of Casey's business goals. Since partnering with REG, Spuzello says "quality has never been a concern."
"I can buy dedicated gallons of our supply and there are never quality issues,” he says. "There are times when we have to switch our supply from another plant, but we never know the difference. REG is good about handling those issues seamlessly."
REG's ability to help solve problems quickly has also strengthened the REG/Casey's partnership. For example, REG monitors inventory and delivers the gallons that Casey's needs without a hitch, which eases Casey's business worries overall.