Kohl’s Department Stores has received the 2014 Sustained Excellence in Green Power Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The annual award recognizes leading green power companies for their commitment and contribution to helping progress the development of the nation’s voluntary green power market.
The retailer is one of the largest hosts of solar electricity in North America. In 2013, Kohl’s added solar arrays to 19 of its locations, and five more locations in 2014, totaling 161 solar locations in 13 states, and accounting for 50 megawatts of power. Kohl’s also set and accomplished a goal of achieving net zero emissions from 2010 to 2013 and the company has extended this goal for three more years.
Senior executive vice president at Kohl’s Ken Bonning said, “As a national retailer, it is important for Kohl’s to be a good corporate citizen. We aim to be a corporate sustainability leader, which is demonstrated in our commitment to on-site generation thorough our solar program and a continued investment in support of green power.” He added, “Through these initiatives and our sustainable operations strategies, we are pleased to share that we are on track to meet our goal of achieving net zero emissions through 2015.”
Kohl’s is also in the process of buying more than 1.5 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power per year, which according to the EPA, is equal to avoiding the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of almost 223,000 passenger vehicles annually, or the equivalent amount of electricity needed to power nearly 146,000 average American homes per year. Added to the on-site green power generation, the power will be enough to meet 105 percent of the company’s total U.S.-based electricity use.
The company is an active participant in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge, a program that supports commercial and industrial building owners by providing technical assistance toward energy efficiency. In 2006, the company joined EPA’s Green Power Partnership, and is currently No. 2 on the EPA’s National Top 100 list.