Milwaukee, Kohlâ€™s Corp. plans to make all its newly built stores environmentally friendly through measures such as using sustainable materials and cutting down on energy costs, starting with stores open next fall.
The company plans to follow guidelines to earn LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification from U.S. Green Building Council, said Ken Bonning, executive VP of logistics for Kohlâ€™s.
Kohlâ€™s plans to open 80 new stores in 2008, spread across 28 states including Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Michigan and Pennsylvania.
Changes will include adding more insulation, using recycled or reusable building materials and ensuring that materials are locally supplied. Lighting, heating and cooling units will also be controlled centrally from the companyâ€™s headquarters to prevent excess energy consumption.
Some new stores in the works already are set to use solar power under a separate program, he said. The company plans to have 22 stores in California using solar power to meet 40% of their energy needs by the end of this year. Three locations in Wisconsin will use solar power to meet 20% of their needs.
The announcement comes as Kohlâ€™s continues its expansion across the company. The retailer plans to add nearly 500 stores in the next five years. At the end of this month, it will operate 929 stores in 47 states. It hopes to have 1,400 stores by 2012.