Kohl’s Sustainability Report: CO2 Emissions Rise 2.8%
Total CO2 emissions at department store chain Kohl’s rose 2.8 percent from 2010 to 2011, while the company’s sales rose by 2.25 percent, according to the company’s 2011 corporate sustainability report.
In 2010, Kohl’s emitted 865,950 metric tons of CO2 equivalent, and this rose to 890,542 metric tons of CO2 in 2011.
This increase is reflected in a rise in the company’s emissions normalized against its square footage. In 2010 Kohl’s emitted 7.94 metric tons of carbon emissions per 1,000 square feet of building space. In 2011 that figure rose to 7.96.
The company increased the number of renewable energy credits it purchased from 1,064,131 metric tons of carbon equivalent in 2010 to 1,108,961 in 2011. This is an increase of four percent year-on-year. The company’s carbon offsets stayed flat at 30,000 metric tons a year from 2010 to 2011. In total the company purchased more than 1.4 billion kWh of renewable energy credits, offsetting 100 percent of Kohl’s purchased electricity use, the report says, up from 1.36 billion kWh of renewable energy credits. In April, Ceres and global research and analysis firm Sustainalytics commended Kohl’s for achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions at its stores.
The average Energy Star score for Kohl’s stores rose from 75 in 2010 to 77 in 2011. The number of its Energy Star certified stores rose from 593 to 677 over that time period. This is an increase from 54 percent of Kohl’s stores in 2010 to 60 percent in 2011. The company has set a target of having 500 Energy Star-certified stores by 2015. In December 2011, Kohl’s committed itself to reducing its use of energy in more than 112 million square feet of occupied building space by at least 20 percent by 2020, as part of the Better Buildings Challenge.
Kohl’s has also increased the number of solar arrays it is operating from 100 in 2010 to 121 in 2011. Some 119 of the arrays are located on Kohl’s rooftops in California, Wisconsin, New Jersey, Maryland, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Colorado and Oregon, and are operated under a solar power purchase agreement with Sun Edison. These arrays generate around 35 MW of power and provided 46 million kWh of energy in 2011. Kohl’s also fully owns two solar arrays on the roofs of its Marana and Oro Valley, Arizona stores. These arrays generate an estimated 1.3 million kWh per year. Kohl’s has a goal of opening 200 solar arrays by 2015.
The number of Kohl’s-operated wind turbine sites increased from zero in 2010 to two in 2011.
In 2011, 100 remodeled Kohl’s stores installed LED spot lights. These lights have a longer lamp life than the lights they replaced. Each of the new LED lights will save about 46 percent of the energy used by traditional spot lighting solutions, the report says.
By 2015 Kohl’s has a goal of recycling 85 percent of all its waste material. In 2011 it recycled 78 percent its waste material, totaling 149,216 tons in 2011. The report does not detail figures from earlier years. The three categories of waste the company recycled most of were corrugated cardboard, construction debris and mixed plastic and hangers. Kohl’s has to date recycled 15 million hangers through an in-store recycling program.
In 2011, Kohl’s specific supply chain sustainability goals were to carry out a sustainability survey of its top 300 vendors, ranking them in terms of sustainability, and improving their average scores over the course of the year. Kohl’s succeeded in surveying all 300 vendors and by the fourth quarter the average vendor sustainability score had risen to 58 out of 100, up from 51 at that time in 2010 (see chart below).
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