Reduced energy use key to Best Buy’s sustainability efforts

New York Best Buy reduced greenhouse gas emissions in its U.S. store operations by 14.8% in fiscal 2010, compared with its 2005 baseline, according to the company’s 2010 Sustainability Report. In total, the chain said it had reduced carbon emissions by 162,155 metric tonnes below its 2005 baseline. Its original goal was an 8% reduction in carbon intensity per square foot by 2012.

A key factor driving emissions trends is energy use, which Best Buy  managed to hold steady despite increasing its retail square footage by 5%. The chain increased its use of virtual servers, allowing the number of physical servers it uses to remain almost flat despite an increase in stores and locations. The retailer is also working with Xcel Energy to test the effects of increasing the temperature of its data rooms in order to further reduce energy use.

Best Buy said it also plans to invest in a centralized, ultrasonic humidification system, which it said with both save energy and provide a return on investment within a year.  The company will also focus on reducing fleet fuel use, tighter operational controls, reduced plug loads, and carbon offsets or renewable energy credits.

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