“We are committed to reducing our carbon footprint and leading the retail industry in use of green technology,” said Thomas Connolly, Walgreens vice president of facilities development. “Because we operate more than 8,000 stores, we believe our implementation of sustainable energy technology can have a significant positive impact on the nation’s environment while also creating jobs.”
The upcoming rollout will produce an estimated 13.5 million kilowatt hours annually, the equivalent of offsetting the CO2 emissions from the electricity use of more than 1,400 homes for one year. Included in the rollout is the Walgreens net zero energy, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum store in Evanston, Ill., which will feature more than 850 rooftop solar panels.
Walgreens will host the solar arrays, and SoCore Energy will own, operate, and maintain them. This model has proven to be successful for the two Illinois-based companies since 2011, when the two collaborated on a 53-store rollout across the state of Ohio.
“SoCore is proud to be developing one of the most important and sizeable distributed solar platforms ever constructed in the United States,” said Pete Kadens, president and CEO of SoCore Energy. “We love working with companies that strive to be leaders, and after we are done here, Walgreens will have more solar locations than any other company in the U.S. This is a remarkable accomplishment for both Walgreens and the team at SoCore.”
This solar rollout is the latest of a number of green initiatives for Walgreens. The company currently operates three stores that have achieved a LEED certification level of gold, silver, and certified; a store in Oak Park, Ill., using geothermal energy; a distribution center in Waxahachie, Texas, that generates energy though the use of wind; and 400 locations with electric vehicle charging stations. Walgreens drugstores use LED cooler and freezer lighting and energy management systems in more than 5,000 locations. In addition, 15 Walgreens distribution centers have achieved net zero waste, which means revenues from recycling exceed waste expense.
For more information, visit www.walgreens.com.
Publication date: 7/1/2013