Editor’s Note: Retailers in Search of Another Type of Green
Lately the staff and I here at Retail Online Integration have been hearing a lot about retailers' environmental initiatives. Consider the following, all of which have been announced in the last few months:
✱ Ikea is currently installing 39,000 solar panels on the rooftops of its stores in the United Kingdom to help achieve its goal of deriving all of its energy from renewable sources. The furniture retailer also purchased a 12.3 megawatt wind farm in northern Scotland that will produce up to 30 percent of its U.K. electricity consumption. This is just the latest wind farm in Ikea's stable, joining others in Denmark, Germany, France and elsewhere in the U.K.
✱ Lord & Taylor is purchasing renewable energy for 100 percent of the electricity usage in its flagship Manhattan and Eastchester, N.Y. stores from Green Mountain Energy Company, a retail provider of cleaner energy and carbon offset solutions. Over the lifetime of the two-year contract with Green Mountain Energy, which begins in November, Lord & Taylor will have purchased more than 26 million kilowatt hours of 100 percent wind power for the two stores. Lord & Taylor's clean energy purchase will replace the more than 20 million pounds of carbon dioxide needed for the stores annually. The savings represents the equivalent of not taking 3.6 million cab rides.
✱ In July, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published its Green Power Partnership ranking of the top 20 retailers embracing clean energy. The combined green power purchases of these organizations amounts to nearly 4 billion kilowatt hours of green power annually, which is the equivalent amount of electricity needed to power more than 326,000 American homes each year. Kohl's topped the EPA's list, which also included Whole Foods Market (No. 2), Starbucks (No. 3) Staples (No. 4) and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc./California and Texas facilities (No. 5).