When it comes to going green, building design, construction and operations seem to get the lion’s share of the attention. But many chains are also focusing on where the rubber hits the road to help lower their carbon footprint while reducing costs.
Kohl’s Department Stores and Lowe’s Cos. are among the recipients of the Environmental Protection Agency 2008 SmartWay Excellence Awards, which recognizes companies for their superior efforts to reduce fuel use and lower carbon emissions from freight transport. The two chains were the only retailers among the 27 businesses and organizations honored.
The EPA launched the SmartWay Transport Partnership in 2004 to address environmental and economic challenges in the freight industry. The program offers tools for evaluating opportunities to lower fuel use and emissions and help in locating financing for the purchase of environmental and fuel-saving technology.
The SmartWay brand identifies products and services that reduce transportation-related emissions. Carriers that are members of the partnership, for example, may qualify to label the exterior of their vehicles as a SmartWay Tractor or Smart-Way Trailer.
Here are a few highlights from Kohl’s and Lowe’s ongoing efforts to reduce fuel use and lower carbon emissions from freight transport:
Kohl’s received recognition after just one year as a SmartWay partner. Since joining the partnership, the Menomonee Falls, Wis.-based company has increased its shipments with SmartWay-certified carriers by 35%, resulting in 98% of its mileage logged by such trucks.
The chain improved its backhaul program by 29%, resulting in nearly 19,000 backhaul trips executed on return from stores and eliminating 3.6 million miles of empty truck hauls. The once-empty trailers now carry merchandise from Kohl’s vendors back to the distribution centers.
Additionally, Kohl’s increased its use of rail transport to 31% of inbound shipments, up 4% from 2006 levels. The reduction saved 93,000 tons of CO2—and 9 million gal. of diesel fuel.
Lowe’s: The home improvement retailer spends 86% of its total investment in domestic freight shipping with SmartWay-certified carriers. To improve performance in its private fleet, Lowe’s increased the overall cube utilization of its trailers, allowing the company to ship the same product using 4,866 fewer trailers. This one measure reduced annual mileage by 1.3 million miles, reduced diesel consumption by 285,000 gal. and reduced CO2 emissions by nearly 3,200 tons.
Since joining SmartWay in 2005, Lowe’s has reduced its diesel-fuel consumption by 285,000 gal. and its CO2 emissions by 467 thousand tons.
‘Biggest Loser’ trainer helps introduce new NordicTrack
LOGAN, Utah Jillian Michaels, a trainer from the NBC show “The Biggest Loser,” has teamed up with NordicTrack to introduce the NordicTrack Incline Trainer.
“People don’t realize how many more calories they can burn by adding dramatic incline to a simple treadmill walk,” said Jillian Michaels, who is known for getting significant weight loss results for her teams on “The Biggest Loser.” “NordicTrack has made it convenient for everyone to do incline training in their home and transform a walk into a workout.”
The NordicTrack Incline Trainer has an introductory price of $1,599 and is available at www.nordictrack.com and Sears. The Incline Trainer is designed and manufactured in Logan, Utah at the NordicTrack headquarters and plant.
Giant Food launches free antibiotic prescription program
LANDOVER, Md. Giant Food announced that it is launching a free prescription program covering 36 generic antibiotics in nine basic categories. The program will run from Jan. 2 to March 21, 2009, at all Giant pharmacies.
“Giant pharmacies are committed to improving the health and wellness in our communities during the winter season when families are susceptible to coughs, colds, and bacteria-borne illnesses,” explained Andrea Astrachan, consumer advisor for Giant Food. “As the provider of fresh, wholesome foods that help our customers stay healthy, we feel it is equally important to offer these free antibiotics to fight illness,” she said.