The Home Depot’s US stores used 35% less electricity last year than in 2010, according to a 2020 Responsibility Report published today. In addition, the home improvement retailer detailed progress toward renewable energy procurement and emissions reductions.
In 2019, installing LED lighting across US stores contributed to substantial energy savings, the company said. The Home Depot reported that about 60% of US stores had LED lighting installed by the end of last year, and upgrades are continuing. Last year US store energy consumption went down by 12%.
The company has a science-based goal linked to its annual CDP reporting, committing to reducing carbon dioxide emissions 2.1% per year for a 40% reduction by 2030 and a 50% reduction by 2035. The new report shows that in 2019 the company reduced Scope 1 and 2 emissions 10%, and Scope 3 emissions 1%, all compared to the year before.
Renewable energy was a focus. The Home Depot seeks to produce or procure energy from 335 megawatts (MW) of renewable and alternative energy projects by 2025. By the end of last year, 260 stores were operating onsite alternative or renewable energy projects. The company said that it plans to “nearly double the number of stores with onsite solar panels and continue to leverage onsite fuel cells and offsite wind and solar energy.”
Partnerships with suppliers on improving products and packaging led to 1.44 million pounds of plastic being eliminated, and 7.73 million pounds of virgin plastic getting replaced with recycled plastic last year.
The sustainability report also pointed to supply chain efficiencies. Packing trailers to maximize space helped the Home Depot avoid approximately 10,500 truck trips traveling 15 million miles, according to the company. The retailer also said that it has partnerships with companies to fill underloaded trucks by buying and selling trailer space. Implementing artificial intelligence on optimal truck performance based on weight allows the Home Depot to use fuel more efficiently for fuller trucks.
For the first time, the retailer’s report includes disclosures against the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) and the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) frameworks. In addition, the company said it continues to apply the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Sustainability Reporting Standards as an identification and cross reference tool, and highlight alignments with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.