The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released its updated quarterly ranking of the Top 50 Green Power Purchasers in the United States. Intel comes in at number one for the second year in a row with PepsiCo, Kohl’s Department Stores, Dell Inc., and Whole Foods Market, rounding out the top 5 green purchasers.
Intel Corp., headquartered in Santa Clara, Calif., is purchasing more than 1 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power annually, which is enough green power to meet 47 percent of the company’s purchased electricity use, according to the EPA. The semiconductor giant is buying a combination of renewable energy certificates and utility green power products from Austin Energy, PNM, and Sterling Planet.
Purchasing billions of kilowatt-hours of green power annually, the EPA’s Green Power Partnership is a voluntary program that encourages organizations to buy green power — generated from renewable sources such as solar, wind, geothermal, biogas, biomass and low-impact hydro — as a way to reduce the environmental impacts associated with conventional electricity use. The EPA recently revised membership requirements for the program.
Several companies including Sony DADC (Pitman, N.J.), ranked #40; Motorola (Schaumburg, Ill.), ranked #44; Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (Bentonville, AR), ranked #15 and The Dannon Company (Bentonville, AR), ranked #33, made the EPA’s National Top 50 of the largest green power purchasers for the first time.
Another notable ranking is Kohl’s Department Stores (Menomonee Falls, Wis.). The retail chain increased its ranking to No. 3, up from No. 14 on January 2009, on the National Top 50 List by more than doubling its previous commitment. The retailer also ranks No. 1 on EPA’s Top 20 Retail List, up from No. 2 on January 2009.
According to the EPA, Kohl’s Department Stores’ green power purchase of more than 600 million kWh is equivalent to avoiding the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of more than 79,000 vehicles per year or is the equivalent amount of electricity needed to power nearly 60,000 average American homes annually.
The EPA also released the updated Top 20 Retail list, which represents the largest purchasers among retail partners within the Green Power Partnership, and a listing of the EPA’s Green Power Communities (GPCs), where the local government, businesses, and residents collectively buy green power in amounts that meet or exceed EPA’s Green Power Community purchase requirements.