Retailer receives Green Power Partner of the Year award for consistently high recycling and reuse rate.
Kohl’s Corporation, one of the nation’s largest retailers, has been singled out this year by the EPA for its sustainability efforts, and cited as the Green Power Partner of the Year. The award recognizes businesses with a high rate of success in waste reduction and recycling, and who make environmental progress through their green power purchases, leadership, overall strategy and overall impact on the green power market.
This is the second time the Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, clothing retailer has been recognized by the Green Power Leadership Awards, held in Portland, Oregon, each year. The awards are a part of the annual Renewable Energy Markets Conference, and are co-sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Department of Energy and the Center for Resource Solutions.
Kohl’s posted recycling rates of 77% for 2010, up from 73% in 2007. And while that number is less than Kohl’s stated goal of 83%, it’s still an impressive stat. Even more impressive is the fact that of the 77% that was recycled, 79% was cardboard and paper.
The company has also made great strides in recycling other items––like carpet–– from post-remodeled stores. Since 2007, Kohl’s has diverted more than 900,000 pounds of used carpet from landfills. Last year alone the retail giant diverted 357,000 pounds of used carpet, while replacing it with new carpet that contains 20% recycled material. A lofty achievement considering the company has remodeled some 26 stores over the last few years. In 2008, Kohl’s introduced reusable shopping bags, while inviting shoppers to bring plastic bags to any Kohl’s stores to recycle.
But the company’s dedication to lowering its environmental impact didn’t stop there. Kohl’s has lead the field in innovation in on-site solar power generation and the purchase of renewable energy credits.
In fact, Kohl’s has become the largest host of solar power in the U.S. The company currently operates 100 solar locations in seven states, providing between 20 and 50% of the energy used by Kohl’s stores. The company has also purchased renewable energy credits that support wind, solar, small-hydro, biogas and biomass generation projects nationwide.
Kohl’s intense focus on recycling, reuse and energy management is an important component of an overall sustainability initiative that will continue to produce measurable results well into the future.