Deerfield, Ill. -- Walgreens and solar developer SoCore Energy, Chicago, announced on Wednesday that they will build more than 200 new solar installations at Walgreens stores throughout California, Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York.
This latest initiative will bring the number of completed solar installations at Walgreens stores to more than 350, making the company the leading retailer in number of solar powered stores.
“We are committed to reducing our carbon footprint and leading the retail industry in use of green technology,” stated Thomas Connolly, Walgreens VP of facilities development. “Because we operate more than 8,000 stores, we believe our implementation of sustainable energy technology can have a significant positive impact on the nation’s environment while also creating jobs.”
The upcoming rollout will produce an estimated 13.5 million kilowatt hours annually, the equivalent of offsetting the CO2 emissions from the electricity use of more than 1,400 homes for one year, the companies stated. Included in the program is Walgreens net-zero energy, LEED Platinum store in Evanston, Ill., which will feature more than 850 rooftop solar panels.
Walgreens will host the solar arrays, and SoCore Energy will own, operate and maintain them. This model has proven to be successful for the two companies since 2011, when the two collaborated on a 53-store rollout across the state of Ohio.
The solar rollout is the latest of many green initiatives for Walgreens, which has committed to a chain wide 20% energy reduction by 2020 through the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge. The company currently operates a store in Oak Park, Ill., that uses geothermal energy, and a distribution center in Waxahachie, Texas, that generates energy through the use of wind. Walgreens has 400 locations with electric vehicle charging stations. On the lighting front, Walgreens stores use 25-watt fluorescent lamps (lowest wattage in the industry), and LEDs in their coolers and freezers.
In addition, 15 Walgreens distribution centers have achieved net zero waste, which means revenues from recycling exceed waste expense, the company stated.