How Retail Giant JCPenney Lowers Environmental Impact

Jcpenny_logoqVenerable department store chain, JCPenney installed solar power systems on four stores in California in 2008. SunPower Corporation installed the systems, and under a power purchase agreement (PPA), owns and operates them. Each system on the California stores produces 3.7 megawatts, and will avert approximately 146,000 tons of carbon dioxide.

JCPenney also installed solar power systems on five stores in New Jersey which operate with a two megawatt capacity, and meet about 25 percent of a store’s needs. The systems were installed by SunPower, with financing from Integrys Energy Services. The installations were completed last December.

In 2008, JCPenney entered into an agreement with Broadstar Wind Systems for a pilot program to install wind turbines at a 1.6 million square foot distribution center in Reno, Nevada. The distribution center will have Broadstar’s AeroCam turbines which are smaller and expected to generate energy more efficiently.

“Hosting these solar and wind projects will add to our knowledge of the benefits and potential applications of renewable energy programs at our facilities,” said Myron E. (Mike) Ullman, III, chairman and chief executive officer.

Ulman continued, “Together with the energy-saving initiatives we already have in place in our stores and distribution centers, this is another significant step toward achieving our environmental objectives. With enthusiastic support from JCPenney Associates nationwide, we are constantly looking for opportunities to contribute to a cleaner environment and run our business more cost effectively.”

“These projects further our commitment to incorporate sustainability into all aspects of our operations. We will closely monitor the results to determine how we can best leverage these innovative methods to increase our participation in renewable energy projects while also benefiting our business,” said Jim Thomas, vice president and director of corporate social responsibility for JCPenney.

First retail stores to achieve ENERGY STAR certification

JCPenney has been a member of ENERGY STAR program since 1999. In 2007, four JCPenney stores became the first in the retail industry to achieve ENERGY STAR certification. The company has the goal of achieving certification for at least 200 of its stores by 2011. In order to achieve an ENERGY STAR rating, retail stores have to meet energy efficiency ratings in top the quarter for all retail stores.

JCPenney earned the ENERGY STAR certification for 37 of its stores in 2008. The same year, the company implemented lighting retrofits in 74 stores, for a total of over 240 stores since 2007.

In March, JCPenney was awarded the ENERGY STAR Award for Suistained Excellence in Energy Management by the EPA and the Department of Energy (DOE).

“EPA is delighted to recognize JCPenney with the 2009 ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence award,” said Kathleen Hogan, Director of the Climate Protection Partnerships Division at the U.S. EPA. “JCPenney`s leadership on energy efficiency has positively impacted their bottom line and our global environment, showing us all what can be accomplished through sustained commitment and action.”

Gina-Marie Cheeseman

Gina-Marie is a freelance writer and journalist armed with a degree in journalism, and a passion for social justice, including the environment and sustainability. She writes for various websites, and has made the 75+ Environmentalists to Follow list by

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