Energy and Carbon


More In Operations

To understand our greenhouse gas (GHG) impact and measure progress toward our goals, every year we review our energy and associated emissions across our operational portfolio and actively pursue energy-efficiency and emissions reductions projects. Information gathered from our store operations, bill pay vendor and BMS are used to determine energy consumption and identify equipment anomalies for additional review and corrective actions.

By 2020, Lowe’s aims to achieve the following milestones for energy use and carbon emissions measured against a 2010 baseline: Performance to Date
Improve store energy efficiency 13 percent per square foot (kWh/ft2) from a 2010 baseline* Improved energy efficiency by 3.2 percent from the 2010 baseline
Reduce store carbon emissions 20 percent per square foot (metric tons CO2/ft2) from a 2010 baseline* Reduced carbon emissions by 11.1 percent from the 2010 baseline
*Includes operating U.S. Lowe’s stores only


Store Energy Efficiency and Emissions*6
2010** 2011** 2012 2013 2014 2015
GHG emissions (mtCO2e) 2,446,686 2,434,709 2,217,789 2,232,293 2,183,513 2,150,574
GHG emission intensity (mtCO2e/1000 ft2) 9.58 9.73 8.83 8.87 8.67 8.52
Electricity use per retail store (MWh/1000 ft2) 17.40 17.69 17.41 17.53 17.15 16.84
* Includes operating U.S. Lowe’s stores only
**U.S. Environmental Protection Agency eGRID2010 (9th Edition) emission factors for electricity generating plants in 2010 and 2011 data years; succeeding years use eGRID2012



Energy Efficiency

New York and California experience some of the highest electricity costs in the United States. Utilities in these regions offer LED lighting incentives, providing a return on the investment in new lighting. LEDs also reduce maintenance costs and improve lighting conditions compared with fluorescent lighting fixtures. In 2015, Lowe’s implemented a 21-store LED lighting pilot initiative in select New York and California stores.

As of January 31, 2016, 20 of the 21 LED retrofits had been successfully executed. On average, these projects yielded a 23-percent reduction in energy consumption while maintaining existing in-store light levels. We decided to postpone the 21st retrofit to review the data and explore opportunities to maximize lighting energy savings potential through dimming control technology. We’re currently evaluating additional opportunities to implement LED lighting technology in other high-electricity cost markets.

In locations where we don’t anticipate a financial return from switching to LEDs, we’re transitioning from 32-watt to 28-watt fluorescent fixtures that consume less power.

Although Lowe’s retail stores account for the majority of our energy consumption, we also implement energy-efficiency upgrades at our distribution centers where the cost savings and emissions reductions are significant. For example, an interior and exterior LED re-lamping project at our Regional Distribution Center in Lebanon, Oregon, also included wireless dimming controls and motion sensors. Lowe’s recouped the initial investment through incentives and electricity savings in less than a year for this entire energy-efficiency upgrade.