Home Depot (NYSE: HD) announced that it has reduced its U.S. store energy use by 2.6 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) since 2004 and that it will achieve a 20% reduction in kWh per square foot usage in its U.S. stores by 2015. Also, the Company has set a goal to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in its domestic supply chain by 20% within the next five years.
The Company is in the process of calculating its comprehensive carbon footprint based on the World Resources Institute and World Business Council for Sustainable Development protocol. The results of the findings will be released a year from now.
During the past six years, The Home Depot has reduced its U.S. stores’ energy per square foot consumption by 16 percent. At the start of 2004, The Home Depot’s energy usage was 25 kWh per square foot. Through a series of operational programs including the upgrading of store HVAC systems, aligning of stocking hours more closely with store operating hours, use of CFL bulbs and a switch to T5 lighting, the Company’s U.S. store energy usage now stands at 21 kWh per square foot. Since these reductions began in 2004, the Company has saved 2.6 billion kWh of energy, which is enough energy to power 203,000 homes for one year.
Moving forward, the Company believes it can reach 20 kWh per square foot of energy usage by 2015. The stores will continue to gain operational and energy efficiencies through a move from 54 to 49 watt lighting, additional HVAC upgrades, installation of more white roofs and certain locations that have shifted their stocking hours to align more closely with store operating hours.
Domestic Supply Chain
In addition to store operations efforts, the Company has set a 2015 target to reduce its domestic supply chain greenhouse gas emissions by 20% from its 2008 levels. As the Company continues its supply chain transformation of moving from having predominately supplier-to-store shipments to the utilization of a centralized distribution network, it expects to see an increase in transportation efficiencies.
The reduction of GHGs from the Company’s domestic supply chain during the next five years will be largely the result of more efficient routing, scheduling and the consolidation of shipments to stores. Upon reaching the target, the Company anticipates a reduction of 200 million miles driven per year. This equates to annual fuel savings of 25 million gallons or 8,000 trips around the earth. The Home Depot received the 2009 Environmental Excellence Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency SmartWay(SM) Transport Partnership for its leadership in conserving energy and lowering greenhouse gas emissions from its transportation and freight activities.
In 2007, the Company introduced Eco Options, its exclusive product category whose items meet certain environmental performance criteria, allowing consumers to identify products that have less of an impact on the environment than traditional products in the same category. Three years later, the program has certified 4,000 products that meet specifications for energy efficiency, water conservation, healthy home, clean air or sustainable forestry.
In 2010, the Company plans to continue expanding its Eco Options program with new lines of household cleaning products, pesticides and herbicides as well as energy savings products.