Energy & Climate Change Loading...
We use energy to power our facilities including retail locations, distribution centers, warehouses and office spaces. This makes energy management and conservation foundational in our efforts to lower our impact on the environment. This year we set a long-term goal of reducing electricity consumption and associated greenhouse gas emissions at comparable retail locations by 30 percent by 2020, relative to a 2008 baseline. From the light bulbs in our stores to the management practices at our corporate headquarters, we strive to use energy efficiently to conserve natural resources, lower our impact on climate change and reduce operating expenses.
Energy Management: A Commitment to Continuous Improvement
Each year, our Energy Team conducts thorough building performance analyses to develop energy management goals for the coming year’s Energy Plan. Each facility is reviewed and an energy performance goal is set at a building-specific level. Frequent building audits to ensure adherence to SHC energy disciplines and proper performance of all energy-related equipment are conducted throughout the year. During these comprehensive building assessments, managers evaluate every part of the facility to identify inefficiencies such as fans or compressors unnecessarily operating, display merchandise running, unnecessary lights turned on, and poorly performing HVAC equipment. Additionally, we benchmark our facilities against each other and against other retail buildings with ENERGY STAR’s Portfolio Manager, which allows us to normalize our energy usage.
We are proud that our efforts in 2015 were recognized by the U.S. EPA with the ENERGY STAR Partner of
the Year Sustained Excellence Award for continued leadership in protecting the
nation’s environment through superior energy efficiency.
EPA Battle of the Buildings
We have participated in the EPA Battle of the Buildings competition since its inception in 2010. The annual competition pits buildings from across the nation against one another to see which can achieve the greatest energy reductions during the course of 12 months. In 2015, we had five teams participating in the Team Challenge, with two teams achieving energy savings of over 20 percent. You can view the results here.
Facility lighting retrofits have played a critical role in our energy reduction strategy. Since 2006, we have completed store lighting retrofits in over 1,300 Sears and Kmart stores and auto centers, as well as, 11 distribution centers. In 2014, we also began piloting LED lighting systems in several stores, and by the end of fiscal year 2015 we had 33 sites with interior LED lighting.
Case Study: Sears Holdings Global Sourcing Team Reduces Office Energy Consumption by 13%
Our Hong Kong-based Global Sourcing Team set a goal to reduce its annual office energy consumption by at least 5 percent over the previous year in 2015. However, they quickly realized they were lacking quality energy data to understand which initiatives would drive the most impactful results.
To help solve this problem, the Global Sourcing Team decided to invest in an energy management system to help kick-start their energy savings journey. With elevated data visibility that captures and consolidates accurate data in real time, the global sourcing team could easily identify the exact area and time of energy waste and use that information to drive energy efficiency initiatives. Real-time data and reporting also provided office staff with the right information at the right time to promote energy awareness.
Within the first two months of improved data collection, the global sourcing team learned of significant overnight and off-hours energy waste with lighting and plugged-in equipment. Empowered by real-time alert notifications, respective floor ambassadors can pinpoint energy waste once it occurs and correct the behavior by communicating with responsible staff. Leveraging clear data insights and peer feedback loops, Sears Global Sourcing can now truly enforce their power-off policy, and have successfully reduced overnight energy usage by 23 percent and working hour usage by 17 percent over the previous year. With constant updates on their energy performance and goal progress, Global Sourcing associates become more engaged in the company’s sustainability goals and are more motivated to participate in green initiatives.
THROUGH ACTING UPON TIMELY AND INTUITIVE DATA INSIGHTS, WE ACHIEVED SIGNIFICANT ENERGY SAVINGS, STREAMLINED REPORTING AND VALUABLE STAKEHOLDERS BUY-IN.- Mr. Sunny Chiu, Director of Administration & Human Resources
In 2015, Sears Holdings was one of 27 companies recognized by the Department of Energy for fulfilling the voluntary commitments of its Workplace Charging Challenge. As a partner, we commit to providing access to workplace electric vehicle charging for our associates at one or more work sites, and help the Department of Energy achieve its goal of expanding workplace charging tenfold by 2018. We have nine charging stations at our corporate headquarters, available to associates and visitors free of charge. We also have 29 charging stations at various retail locations throughout the U.S.
Global climate change represents one of the key environmental challenges of our day, and we are working to reduce our greenhouse gas emission levels. Electricity consumption is the largest contributor to our corporate carbon footprint, making our facility energy conservation efforts the foundation of our work to lower our impact on climate change.
We calculate our carbon footprint using The Climate Registry General Reporting Protocol. We include emissions of CO2, CH4 and N2O, as well as HFCs and PFCs from refrigeration equipment in the calculations of our stationary emissions sources. Our greenhouse gas inventory has not been third-party verified.