We have a long track record of pursuing new and better ways to achieve energy efficiency, which not only helps the environment, but also helps us reduce costs. We have dramatically decreased our energy use to date, and have an active team committed to ongoing innovation in this area.
Sustainable Energy Management
Since 1987 our stores have used automated energy management systems that conserve energy by adjusting the lighting and HVAC systems so they operate efficiently and only when needed. Additionally, we process our energy management information online, which helps us resolve inefficiencies quickly and keep energy use to a minimum. In 1992, we began specifying high-efficiency HVAC units to further lower energy consumption, and continue to look for new ways to reduce our footprint through effective energy management.
Raising the Bar on Lighting Efficiency
In 1996, we increased our efficiency standards and reduced the electricity used for lighting by 20 percent. In 2004, we again raised the bar, leading to an additional 12 percent reduction. We are currently evaluating the use of LED lighting as a possible next step for our energy efficiency program.
Additionally, we have installed motion sensor lighting in our corporate offices to help maximize energy efficiency.
Leveraging Construction Innovation
In 2007, we began using thicker, higher-quality insulation in roofs for new store construction, which reduces the demand for air conditioning. While we lease the majority of our stores, we are often able to work with our landlords on energy efficiency improvements. For example, we recently installed skylights in three distribution centers to reduce artificial lighting and save energy. In Texas, Arizona and southern California, some stores have “white roofs” that reflect heat from the sun, which can reduce the cost of cooling by 40 percent during the summer months. We plan to continue leveraging these and other new ways to construct more environmentally friendly buildings.