Signing up for an energy-efficient, sustainable America

According to Triple Pundit and Sustainable Brands, American retailer, Macy’s, has joined a national energy-efficient upgrade initiative called the Better Buildings Challenge. The Better Buildings Challenge was launched by Barack Obama in 2011 in an effort to bring together corporations, universities, municipalities and national leaders to become more energy-efficient, reduce waste and save on energy costs. Currently, the U.S. spends approximately $200 billion in order to power commercial buildings and another $200 billion to power industrial facilities. Obama’s goal is to cut energy waste from homes and businesses in half over the next two decades, meaning that stores like Macy’s who opt to partake will have to cut energy use by at least 20% by 2020.

As reported by the DoE, Macy’s has pledged to reduce energy use in 179 million square feet of its commercial real estate. In response to joining the Better Buildings Challenge, Bill Lyon, Vice President of Energy Management at Macy’s said: “Macy’s is pleased to enter into a partnership with the Better Buildings Challenge, helping lead the nation to greater energy efficiency, economic growth and a cleaner environment. Our commitment will lead to an energy savings of 20 percent by 2020. We are looking forward to sharing our progress in creating greater efficiency and savings.”

On the road to sustainability

Judging from its track record, the company is well on its way to becoming a sustainable champion. Identified in 2012 as one of the top users of solar energy in the U.S. according to the ranking of the Solar Energy Industries Association, Macy’s says that their approach to sustainability is multi-dimensional and proudly boasts sustainable achievements to date, which include having reduced electric consumption by 31% in Macy’s stores since 2002; having increased the use of certified paper in marketing materials to 93% in 2011 compared to 43% in 2009; having cut back on 80 metric tons of CO2; having installed 41 solar energy installations at various Macy’s locations; and having installed LED lighting in 800 Macy’s stores.

What’s in store for the future?

Despite having achieved so much over the last decade, Macy’s has set a number of goals for the years to come some of which include wanting to increase their use of renewable energy sources by 15-25% by 2013; increase the percentage of recycled paper used in marketing materials to 90% from 43% in 2009; increase the use of sustainable building materials in all major construction projects by 20% by 2013 over 2010 levels; and, after having reduced their energy consumption by 19% between 2003-2009 (kWh per square foot), the company wants to cut back by an additional 8-10% by 2013.

For full disclosure on Macy’s goals for a sustainable future, visit their website and explore their Five Point Action Plan!

image credit: Hades1981