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. 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. In 2015, 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. We are proud to have surpassed our goal with a reduction of 36 percent in 2017 and we look forward to revisiting our energy and climate goals in 2018.
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.
A number of our facilities participate in demand response programs. These programs are designed to reduce energy consumption at the request of the local utility to reduce the demand on the electrical grid during peak periods. In 2017, 384 facilities participated in demand response programs with another 35 planned for 2018. It has been demonstrated that when coordinated properly with the utility, the retail sites can accommodate dramatic 25 to 35 percent load reductions for short time periods with little to no occupant discomfort.
At SHC, we continue to upgrade our facilities so that they run more efficiently and provide greater occupant comfort. Facility lighting retrofits have played a critical role in our energy reduction strategy. Since 2006, we have completed store lighting retrofits in over 1,600 Sears and Kmart stores and auto centers, as well as, 11 distribution centers. In 2017, we successfully converted another 144 locations to LED technology. Additionally, we continue to add to our remote Energy Management Systems (EMS) portfolio. These systems efficiently control and monitor our HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) and lighting systems. These systems also record historical building energy consumption, peak data, space temperatures/humidity and many other values for analysis and custom alert generation when an out of bounds condition exists so it may be remedied quickly. In 2017, SHC installed an additional 49 EMS installations complete with variable speed fan motors. These systems save, on average, more than 16 percent in store energy.
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.
1. Our GHG inventory does not include emissions from Common Area Maintenance facilities that do not report energy consumption to our utility bill management system. The emissions from these facilities are believed to be de minimis.