Electricity supplier Juice Energy has identified ten retailers that it believes are front runners in the shift to green business, Here’s the list, with Juice’s descriptions of the top ten:
Patagonia: In 1998, Patagonia became the first California-based company to buy electricity from 100% renewable energy sources and achieved LEED gold certification for its Nevada distribution center. Additionally, Patagonia is a leader in recycling, with its Common Threads Garment Recycling Program, which recycles used fleece for use in new products.
Kohl’s: Kohl’s is the second largest retail purchaser of green power and the largest among department stores, using 201,396,000 kWh annually. Kohl’s is also working to complete the largest rooftop solar project in US history next year, with installations at 63 of their 80 California locations.
Whole Foods: Whole Foods, a leading natural and organic supermarket, purchases green power equal to 100% of their electricity usage, over 509,100,000 kWh annually. Their green power usage earned them the distinction of EPA Green Power Partnership Power Partner of the Year 2006 and ranks third among all green power purchasers. Whole Foods also gained LEED Silver certification for its Sarasota, FL store, the first supermarket to earn the designation.
Prana: In 2005, the outdoor and lifestyle apparel wholesaler Prana launched their Natural Power Initiative to purchase green power equal to the electricity usage of all 250 Prana retailers, the company’s corporate headquarters, and the homes of all their full-time employees, equaling 29,678,000 kWh annually. Now Prana plans to purchase wind power for their entire North American dealer base of approximately 1,000 retail partners in addition to its contracted US-based sewing facilities.
REI: REI, or Recreational Equipment Inc., purchases green power equal to 100% of their annual electricity consumption, totaling 63,080,000 kWh, which ranks ninth among retail purchasers. REI has also committed to reducing CO2 emissions by one third from the 2006 baseline by the end of 2009.
UPS: UPS operates the largest alternative fuel and low-emission fleet in the industry, with 19,647 such vehicles worldwide. UPS is also reducing its emissions by purchasing 2,949,545 kWh of green power for its California facilities and streamlining delivery routes resulting in the elimination of more than 28.5 million miles of driving to date.
Timberland: Timberland recently introduced Green Index tags on a number of its products, which rate products based on environmental factors such as greenhouse gas emissions, the use of solvents, and organic content. Timberland also plans to become “carbon neutral” by 2010 and recently changed all packaging use for its footwear to 100% post-consumer recycled boxes and soy inks.
Nike: Nike has set a goal to be “carbon neutral” by 2011 and currently purchases 79,820,000 kWh of green power for its World Headquarters, representing 72% of annual consumption. The company is also designing its footwear to meet targets for waste reduction, elimination of volatile organic compounds and increased use of environmentally preferred materials by 2011.
Walmart: Walmart has made a commitment to reduce overall GHG emissions by 20% over the next eight years and set a long-term corporate goal to purchase 100% of their energy from renewable sources. Walmart has also set a goal to increase fuel efficiency of its fleet by 25% over the next three years and is currently the largest single purchaser of 100% organic cotton products.
Target: The discount retailer, Target, became a certified organic produce retailer late last year and now offers more than 500 choices of organic certified food. Target also reduces waste through food-donation programs, giving away nearly 7 million pounds of food last year. They also have four buildings in California using onsite solar electricity, with systems under development at 14 additional stores.