Menomonee Falls, Wis. -- Kohl’s Department Stores announced its goal to achieve net zero emissions each year through 2015. The company also announced that it has been recognized with a 2013 Sustained Excellence in Green Power Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). (The annual Green Power Leadership Awards recognize the country’s leading green power users for their commitment and contribution to helping advance the development of the nation’s voluntary green power market.)
“This recognition from EPA comes at a time when we are furthering our commitment to achieving carbon neutrality through a continued investment in the use and support of green power, as well as our sustainable operations strategies companywide,” said Ken Bonning, Kohl’s senior executive VP. “In 2012, we were pleased to achieve our initial goal to achieve net zero emissions from 2010-2012 and are proud to extend that goal for three more years through 2015.”
Kohl's is currently purchasing 1.5 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) green power annually and generates an additional 37 million kWh of on-site green power annually, which is enough to meet 105% of the company’s total U.S.-based electricity use.
The company is also one of the largest hosts of solar electricity in North America with 140 solar locations across 14 states and a goal to reach 200 solar locations by 2015. Kohl’s has two wind locations – its Findlay, Ohio, distribution center and Corpus Christi, Texas store.
According to EPA, Kohl’s combined current green power use from renewable energy certificates (RECs) and on-site generation is equivalent to avoiding the carbon dioxide emissions of more than 222,000 passenger vehicles per year, or the equivalent amount of electricity needed to power nearly 160,000 average American homes annually.
The foundation of Kohl’s efforts is the expansion of its longstanding leadership in operational efficiency, including waste reduction, building design and operation, transportation, supply chain and energy management. More than two-thirds of the company’s locations have earned EPA’s Energy Star’s certification, and more than a quarter have earned Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).
Kohl’s is also an active participant in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge, through which has committed to reduce its energy use in more than 112 million sq. ft. of occupied building space by at least 20% by 2020.