Kohl’s Department Stores has earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR label for 110 additional stores, and became the first specialty department store to receive the Silver-level Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) initial certification by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) for a new store prototype.
The Menomonee Falls, Wis.-based company reached its first ENERGY STAR milestone in July 2008 when the company’s first 50 stores received the label. Energy-efficiency features of these stores include centralized energy management systems, occupancy sensor lighting and high-efficiency lighting, heating and cooling systems. These efforts have prevented greenhouse gas emissions equal to the electricity use from 37,675 households for a year.
In addition to initial certification of Kohl’s new store prototype at the Silver level, the USGBC certified two Kohl’s stores at the Silver level and one store at the Certified level that were built according to the new prototype. These three stores are Kohl’s first to earn LEED certification. Kohl expects sixty additional stores constructed using the new store prototype to receive certification in the coming months.
Key features of the new stores include on-site recycling, water-efficient landscaping, regionally sourced building materials and construction activity pollution prevention, which help the company reduce waste, reduce emissions and conserve resources.
Kohl’s Department Stores also ranked number 3 on the most recent EPA National Top 50 ranking of the top green power purchasers, up from number 14 in January 2009. The retailer also ranks number 1 on EPA’s Top 20 Retail List, up from No. 2 in January 2009.
According to the EPA, Kohl’s 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 specialty department store also earned the top leadership award for the EPA’s On-site Generation through the Green Power Partnership in 2008.
Most recently, Kohl’s department store in Eldersburg, Md., installed 1,500 solar panels that will be capable of producing an average of 297 kilowatt-hours, or more than 5.9 million kWH over 20 years, reports wtop.com. The solar energy system is expected to provide 20 to 30 percent of the store’s electricity requirements, depending on the time of year and amount of sunlight, according to the article.
Other retailers such as Best Buy, Office Depot, Staples and Timberland have also implemented green building practices. Some including Wal-Mart, Safeway, Macy’s and Kohl’s are installing solar panels on roofs of their stores.