Managing our facilities in an environmentally and fiscally responsible manner is critical to the long-term health of our communities and our company. For decades, Lowe’s has invested in sustainable strategies to use resources – energy, fuel, water and materials – more efficiently and responsibly throughout our operations.
We’ve made substantial strides. While the footprint of our stores increased by more than 43 million square feet from 2007 to 2012, we decreased their total energy usage by nearly 160 million kilowatt hours (kWh). This has resulted in a reduction of 316,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), which is comparable to removing more than 66,000 cars from the road for one year.*
With more than 1,830 stores, we see significant opportunities to operate more sustainably and drive additional savings by continuing to reduce energy use and waste.
At the same time, we reduced our total expenses for waste nearly 70 percent by recycling more, taking less to the landfill and being more efficient with our hauls.
With more than 1,830 stores, we see significant opportunities to operate more sustainably and drive additional savings by continuing to reduce energy use and waste. To guide those efforts, Lowe’s has developed our first set of public sustainability goals.
By 2020, Lowe’s aims to achieve the following milestones for energy use, carbon emissions and waste, measured against a 2010 baseline:
- Improve energy efficiency 13% per square foot (kWh/ft2)
- Reduce carbon emissions 20% per square foot (tons CO2/ft2)
- Increase tons of waste per haul 40%
- Reduce tons of waste per net sales 40%
These energy and waste efficiency goals will be measured against the profiles of our operations in the United States, Canada and Mexico, using rates normalized to account for the growth of our business.
We view these four commitments as a foundation for ongoing improvements. They will help us reduce the environmental footprint of our operations and deliver more value to Lowe’s customers and shareholders by helping us lower costs.
By measuring and reporting our performance annually, we’ll be able to track our progress and make adjustments along the way.
We’ll do that with the help of our employees. Our teams at our stores, distribution centers and offices all play a role in our ability to operate our facilities as efficiently as possible. These goals will drive additional employee engagement and help prioritize their work.
* U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Using energy and materials more efficiently minimizes our environmental footprint and helps Lowe’s lower costs.
We’ll continue to make technology upgrades and promote conservation practices to reduce energy use at our stores, which consume 93 percent of all the energy Lowe’s uses each year.
Driven by a goal of continuous improvement, Lowe’s employees are vital to our efforts to operate our facilities efficiently and deliver on our sustainability commitments.