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Greener Restrooms

BY Marianne Wilson

Almost as well-known as the old 3R’s—reading, ’riting and ’rithmetic, the new 3R’s—recycle, reuse and reduce—are on just about everyone’s mind, including store owners. Although things can vary from location to location, when it comes to stores, and specifically store restrooms, there is much that can be recycled, reused and reduced.

“In one way or another, just about every material used to build a facility can be recycled,” said Klaus Reichardt, founder and managing partner of Waterless Co. LLC, manufacturer of no-water urinals and other restroom products. “And what might have been unusual just a couple of years ago, like recycling toilets and urinals, is actually becoming quite commonplace today.”

One way retailers are enhancing restroom recycling programs is by using paper products made from recycled materials. Bathroom tissue, paper towels, facial tissues and even paper-based cleaning cloths are all now available and made from post-consumer-waste recycled content.

“Using recycled materials means fewer trees must be cut down, gasoline and energy use is reduced, as are greenhouse emissions and tons and tons of solid waste,” Reichardt said. “This also saves millions of gallons of water necessary to make the paper products.”

Finding ways to reuse restroom-related products is currently in its early stages; however, it appears growth is inevitable. One area that has shown promise is “gray water.” Collected from kitchen and restroom sinks, showers and washing machines, gray water is commonly used for landscaping—especially in arid parts of the United States. (A note of caution: The use of gray water is not legal in all states.)

Retailers also can reuse flooring and ceiling tiles elsewhere in the facility, or donate them to local community groups. While toilets and urinals can be recycled, such fixtures are made to last for years. And today, many are being retrofitted with water-reducing components, allowing them to last for years using considerably less water than when they were first manufactured.

According to many environmental groups, along with the Environmental Protection Agency, source reduction will evolve into the No. 1 way all types of facilities, including retail stores, can help protect the environment. It reduces waste generation and helps promote sustainability more than any of the other 3R’s. Fortunately, in store restrooms, there are many source-reduction strategies that are also very effective.

“Of course, at the top of the list is water efficiency,” Reichardt added. “Replacing the old toilets with water-conserving models, and the urinals with low-flow, or even more efficient, no-water urinals is both a water- and a cost-savings. In just one year, a typical urinal can use 40,000 gallons of water.”

Other source-reduction suggestions include:

  • Using touchless, infrared activated faucets. The amount of water they release can be regulated, and water stops as soon as hands are removed;
  • Installing warm-air hand dryers. New, energy-efficient, high-pressure models that dry hands completely in 10 to 15 seconds are now available.
  • Using motion sensors in restrooms is becoming commonplace because they have been proven to save energy;
  • Using coreless tissue-dispensing systems allow for 100% paper usage with little or no stub-roll waste and limited amounts of packaging materials;

 

  • Selecting restroom products made from recycled materials. For example, restroom partitions made from egg cartons are available, and some urinals are now manufactured with soybean resin, which reduces the need for porcelain.
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Kohl’s, Forever 21 win bid for 46 former Mervyn’s stores

BY CSA STAFF

MENOMONEE FALLS, Wis. Kohl’s and Forever 21 won a joint bid for the leaseholds of 46 former Mervyn’s locations valued at approximately $6.25 million.

Kohl’s will assume 31 of the locations while Forever 21 will assume 15, pending approval by the court overseeing Mervyns bankruptcy proceedings.

“We are pleased with the results of the auction,” said Kevin Mansell, president and ceo for Kohl’s Department Stores. “With over 1,000 stores from coast to coast, these locations provide increased presence in under penetrated markets. We will continue to be opportunistic and prudent in our discussions with the owners of select Mervyns real estate as we continue to position Kohl’s to grow market share.”

In fiscal 2009, the Kohl’s said it continues to expect to open approximately 50 stores, including the majority of the 31 former Mervyns’ locations.

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Bazaarvoice appoints new CFO

BY CSA STAFF

AUSTIN, Texas Bazaarvoice, which provides social commerce applications that drive sales, announced that Ken Saunders has joined the company as CFO. Saunders has over 25 years of experience as a senior financial executive at companies including Open Solutions, Peregrine Systems, Fair Isaac Corp. and Arthur Andersen. In his new role at Bazaarvoice, Saunders will guide all aspects of the company’s financial operations, as well as lead the team responsible for day-to-day finance, IT and human operations.

“Bazaarvoice is not only the most innovative social commerce company in the industry, it’s the fastest growing, serving hundreds of major brands worldwide and adding more at a very rapid clip,” said Saunders. “As CFO, I look forward to working with Bazaarvoice’s executive team to drive the company’s growth now and into the future, as they continue to transform the way people interact and shop online.”

“Ken has a wealth of world-class financial experience at both private and public companies, and we’re thrilled to welcome him to the executive team as Bazaarvoice continues to cement its market leadership in the social commerce space,” said Brett Hurt, founder and CEO of Bazaarvoice. “As more and more retailers worldwide embrace the customer voice as a key brand and marketing tool, Bazaarvoice is poised for rapid growth – and Ken is the perfect person to lead our company’s financial strategy.”

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