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New Stores Increase CVS’ CO2 Emissions nearly 10% in 2009

CVS Caremark’s absolute carbon emissions increased by 9.5 percent in 2009 compared to 2008, according to the company’s 2009 Corporate Social Responsibility report. However, the pharmacy health-care provider expanded significantly last year adding more than 500 Longs drug stores acquired by CVS in 2008. On a square-foot basis, emissions remained flat from 2008 to 2009.

CVS Caremark emitted approximately 1.73 million metric tonnes of CO2e emissions in 2009 of which 90 percent is generated by electricity consumption. The remaining emissions are derived from product deliveries (5 percent), natural gas (3 percent) and business travel (2).

In 2009, the company focused on several initiatives to better manage energy consumption at its stores in 2009. Efforts included installing more efficient lighting and new roofs designed to reflect heat, integrating its first energy management systems, evaluating renewable energy sources, building new facilities to LEED standards and/or environmental considerations and reducing fuel consumption in its distribution networks.

Three lighting projects in the states of Florida, Michigan and Pennsylvania yielded the highest savings of 2,640 MWh, 3,480 MWh and 1,850 MWh, respectively. In addition, the company rolled out is computer-controlled energy management system in 50 stores in Florida, and will expand the system to 250 stores in 2010.

The Rhode Island administrative facilities also upgraded its energy control system which will yield benefits this year.

CVS also opened a LEED-certified CVS/pharmacy store in California and is seeking certification for three administrative facilities at the Rhode Island campus.

In the area of transportation, CVS has reduced the driving speed of its private fleet to 63 miles per hour, and consolidated its deliveries, which has eliminated 6,541 routes across the network. This resulted in nearly 1.2 million fewer miles driven and a savings of 218,730 gallons of fuel. It also prevented the emissions of 2,260 tonnes of CO2.

CVS is also working with vendors to reduce product packaging. Efforts ranged from removing inner cardboard packaging on 41 items and reducing overall cardboard use on 475 new products to reducing plastic use in 17 products and streaming the overall packaging design for 18 items.

CVS’ strategies are in line with several other pharmacies that are implementing initiatives to reduce energy use and packaging.

CVS plans to join the Carbon Disclosure Project in 2010.

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