Posts Tagged ‘Home Depot’

Distribution, Manufacturing Facilities Are Going Green

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

Home Depot, NCR are greening their companies.  Home Depot, NCR are greening their companies. Fortune 500 companies are increasingly using energy-saving measures in their corporate real estate.  Some firms are retrofitting warehouses to conserve energy or are applying Japanese principles to building design and operation.

Home Depot, for example, has 2,245 retail stores comprising 235 million SF nationally, owns 89 percent of its real estate and is working to reduce its energy consumption.  In 2004, energy use for stores was approximately 25 kWh per square foot.  Today, energy consumption is just 21 kWh per square foot, a 16 percent reduction.

Since 2004, energy use has been cut by 2.6 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh), enough to power 203,000 homes for a full year.  Home Depot’s objective is to reach a 20 percent reduction in kWh per square foot in U.S. locations by 2015.  The company also plans to cut its domestic supply chain greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by 20 percent by 2015.

Yet another example is NCR Corporation, which used Japanese “lean” practices at its new 350,000 SF plant in Norcross, GA, where it manufactures ATMs.  The technique eliminates waste and streamlines production processes.  Because NCR recycled cinder blocks and carpeting at the facility, it is seeking LEED certification on the retrofitted building.  Additionally, NCR produces cash registers that use two-sided receipt printers that cut paper usage by as much as 45 percent and use less power.

Converting the plant to make it energy efficient was not easy, according to Beth McClurg, NCR’s director of corporate real estate, who notes that “It is taking extra cost to do, which may not have immediate payback in terms of our financials, but because of the importance, we’re proceeding and hope to have LEED certification soon.”

“Cash for Appliances” Part of an Ongoing Effort to Jump Start the Economy

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

After the success of the “Cash for Clunkers” and “Cash for Caulkers” programs, the Obama administration has rolled out “Cash for Appliances”, with the goal of replacing aging washers and refrigerators with new ones that consume less energy.  Funded by the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act stimulus bill, “Cash for Appliances” is a $300 million program where consumers receive rebates for purchasing energy-efficient appliances.  Eligibility requires that the appliance carry the Energy Star logo, which affirms that it meets efficiency guidelines set by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy.  The program’s goal is to conserve energy, boost retail sales and help speed the economic recovery.Stimulus bill’s “Cash for Appliances” seeks to replace old washers and fridges with energy-efficient models.

Rebates are allocated by the states.  New York, for example, is offering rebates that range from $75 to $105 on refrigerators, freezers and washing machines.  If all three appliances are purchased together, the rebate can be as much as $555.  “This program will provide a tremendous incentive for consumers all across New York to reduce their energy consumption while providing an important stimulus to our economy,” according to a statement by New York Governor David Paterson.

Retailers are pleased with the program, but think it will not be easy to predict how the program will affect sales.  Home Depot spokeswoman Jean Neimi notes that “It’s tough to say, from a sales perspective, because each state has such a different program.  But we’re excited the program is in place.  Any opportunity to educate our customers on the benefits of energy efficiency is welcome.”