Retailers Take Green Steps
Home & Textiles Today Staff -- Home Textiles Today, October 1, 2007
While Wal-Mart may be taking the most aggressive steps to demonstrate its eco bona fides — most recently teaming up with the Carbon Disclosure Project on a pilot program to monitor the emissions impact of its vendors and supply chain — other retailers have begun to at least dip a toe in the water.
Kohl's said it will affix solar-electric systems to 63 of its 80 California stores — it turned on its first at Laguna Niguel on Sept. 26 — which when operating by the end of 2008 will generate some 25 megawatts of electricity. Kohl's and its supplier, SunEdison, said this will be equivalent to about "15% of California's total photovoltaic installations to date."
The retailer noted that in its first full year of operation, the 63-store installation will offset more than 28 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions. The rooftop arrays will total 138,000 solar panels.
Macy's will install solar-electric systems at 26 of its California locations, working with SunPower subsidiary PowerLight, in an 8-megawatt contract. PowerLight will also upgrade the HVAC and lighting systems at the stores; along with the solar generation, these steps are anticipated to achieve a 40% reduction in utility-provided energy, and boost the savings to 195 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions over the system lifetime.
JCPenney announced that on Oct. 5 it will open a store in Denver to serve as a pilot for sustainable initiatives. The store will include exterior brick made from waste petroleum byproducts, recycled-content ceiling tiles, and carpet made from 100% recycled material. Exterior signs will use low-wattage LED lights, and all interior rooms will use occupancy sensors to conserve electricity. Plumbing will also be low- and no-consumption, Energy Star rated.
JCP said all 41 new stores in 2007 will feature high-efficiency lighting and HVAC, as well as better-insulated roofs. By the end of 2008, about 800 stores will feature remote energy management technology.
Rural general merchandiser Duckwall-ALCO opened a store Sept. 27 in Louisburg, Kan., that incorporates "nearly 100% recyclable steel" in its structure, which will be assembled from pre-insulated panels; polished concrete floors, said to be more eco-friendly; and energy-efficient T5 fluorescent lights.
Company president and ceo Bruce Dale said Duckwall-ALCO has joined Call2Recycle, a program to take in used batteries and cell phones from consumers.
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