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Macy’s Boosts Plans to Reduce Energy Use, Waste

Macy’s has plans to add another solar energy installation on the roof of one its facilities, replace traditional incandescent light bulbs in 86 Macy’s department stores with new LED bulbs, and eliminate bottled water at its facilities, as part of the retailer’s drive to reduce energy use and waste.

SunPower has started construction on the 3.5-megawatt (MW) high-efficiency solar power system on the roof of Macy’s online fulfillment center in Goodyear, Arizona. The system will supply 70 percent of the electricity demand of the 600,000-square-foot facility.

When completed in March 2011, Macy’s expects the Goodyear installation to be the largest solar power system on a single rooftop in the United States. The system is expected to offset more than 3,500 tons of carbon dioxide per year.

Macy’s has completed the installation of its 1-MW solar power system on the roof of the company’s distribution center in City of Industry, California. Also designed and installed by SunPower, the rooftop system is generating nearly 50 percent of the facility’s electricity use.

With this installation, Macy’s now hosts solar power panels on the roofs of 37 of its facilities nationwide, helping the company achieve its goal of hosting 15 percent to 25 percent more renewable energy sources by 2013. 

Macy’s was ranked at one of the EPA’s top-20 users of on-site renewable energy in 2009.

Macy’s also has set a goal to reduce total energy consumption (on a kilowatt-per-square-foot basis) by about 30 percent over an 11-year period (2003 to 2013).

In an effort to further reduce energy use across its stores, the retailer is replacing about 117,000 traditional incandescent light bulbs in 86 Macy’s stores with new LED bulbs that use about 73 percent less energy. Total energy savings are estimated at about 16,200 megawatts per hour every year.

As an added benefit, these LED bulbs have an expected life of five to 10 years (compared with less than one year for traditional bulbs), which should reduce landfill disposal.

Macy’s says it is the first department store company to implement the use of LED accent lighting on a wide scale.

Macy’s also has eliminated bottled water for internal use in its office facilities, and is providing water filtration units so employees can fill their own reusable containers. Last year, the retailer diverted more than 66 tons of waste from landfills by recycling.

In August, Macy’s was one of several companies that signed contracts to use FutureMark’s recycled paper.FutureMark says it is the only North American manufacturer capable of producing up to 100 percent recycled coated paper for magazines and catalogs.

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