Beginning in early to mid-2008, Best Buy intends to build only eco-friendly stores, certified by the USGBC through LEED Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal reports. Best Buy announced the plan in its recently released corporate responsibility report. According to the USGBC, if all Best Buy stores were LEED certified, the retailer would cut its energy use by approximately one-third.
Best Buy’s announcement is made possible by its inclusion in a group of 20 retailers – including Starbucks, Target, and Lowe’s – that have been working with the USGBC since mid-2006 to test-pilot a new bulk certification program. The program allows chain stores to get their prototype buildings certified by the USGBC, rather than each individual location. The USGBC would then test each certified store for quality control through surprise visits and random efficiency testing.
The Best Buy prototype will have some combination of energy-efficient lighting, rainwater recycling, recycled or otherwise eco-friendly building materials, a high-efficiency HVAC system and some type of day-lighting system.
REI recently announced that its Boulder, Colorado prototype store has reached the second phase in its expansion and renovation.
Last year, Wal-Mart released results on the energy efficiency of its experimental stores.