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Kohl’s Wins EPA award

Kohl’s received the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s WasteWise Partnership with a Gold Achievement Award for Green Purchasing during a ceremony last month in Arlington, Va.

The award recognizes a company’s purchase and use of recycled and environmentally responsible materials throughout its operations.

Kohl’s has been participating in WasteWise since January 2007 and is among more than 2,000 companies in the program.

“We aim to make environmentally responsible choices when it comes to the materials we use, how we use them and how we transport them. While waste reduction initiatives like our recycling program and shipping efficiencies are beneficial for our business, we’re inspired by their positive, long-term environmental benefit,” said Ken Bonning, Kohl’s evp of store planning and logistics.

Last year, Kohl’s recycled more than 100,000 tons of plastic, cardboard and hangers. Last year it also made all wage statements Web-based. Nearly all ink cartridges used at the corporate office are re-manufactured.

The retailer has asked its suppliers to reduce the amount of packaging used to ship merchandise to its stores and eliminate non-recyclable packaging. Items that require plastic protection are shipped in recyclable polyethylene bags.

New Kohl’s units built from the ground up use an estimated 20% of recycled building materials, as measured by cost.

Kohl’s has purchased enough green power in the forms of renewable energy credits and on-site solar generation to meet 100% of its purchased electricity need to run its sites. Kohl’s claims to be the largest retail host of solar power in North America, with 81 solar locations nationwide.

Looking to get shoppers involved as well, Kohl’s merchandise bags are made from 20% to 35% recycled plastic. The chain introduced reusable shopping bags in 2008, and shoppers are also encouraged to bring their own plastic bags to any Kohl’s nationwide for recycling.

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