Office Depot has lowered its portfolio-wide energy consumption 37 percent in seven years, earning it a spot on the EPA’s list of 2012 Energy Star Leaders for Leadership in Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions.
The company says it’s the first ever retailer in the US to be recognized for a 30 percent or greater improvement.
In the baseline year of 2004, Office Depot facilities emitted 381,689 metric tons of carbon dioxide. By 2011, the carbon footprint of Office Depot’s facilities was 239,319 metric tons — a reduction of more than 140,000 metric tons, or 37 percent over the seven-year period.
Office Depot says it achieved this CO2 reduction by investing in energy efficiency initiatives including de-lamping; changing to energy-efficient lamps, reflectors and ballasts; installing motion detectors in receiving areas; upgrading building HVAC systems; and monitoring energy usage through energy management controls.
Office Depot competitor Staples is also taking steps to reduce its energy use. Last month Staples joined the White House’s Better Buildings Challenge, pledging to reduce building energy use at least 20 percent by 2020. Best Buy signed on to the challenge last year.
A Retail Sustainability Report from the Retail Industry Leaders Association published in January found big-box retailers are gravitating towards smaller stores and distribution centers in an effort to reduce energy use, and 63 percent of retailers now have an energy management system in at least 50 percent of their stores, according to a report by the Professional Retail Store Maintenance Association.