As the nation’s top home appliance retailer, Sears Holdings is committed to protecting the ozone layer, keeping our communities clean and saving energy through the responsible recycling of household appliances. Sears became the first broadline retailer to join the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Responsible Appliance Disposal (RAD) program in 2007 and we have proudly continued this partnership for the last seven years.
Through the RAD partnership, Sears delivers a “wow” member experience by hauling away and responsibly discarding their old refrigerators, freezers, AC units and dehumidifiers when they purchase new, energy-efficient products. This means Sears recovers and properly disposes the ozone-depleting chemicals from the discarded appliances, reducing CO2 emissions and other greenhouse gases. In our seven years as a RAD partner, Sears’ recycling of refrigerant, insulating foam, metals, plastic and glass has helped prevent the equivalent of greenhouse gas emissions from nearly 500,000 cars for one year.
The RAD partnership is one of many contributing factors which have led to Sears Holdings’ being named a 2014 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence Award recipient. This year marks the fifth consecutive year that Sears has been awarded the ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year recognition in retail and the second consecutive year to achieve both Partner of the Year in energy management and the distinguished Sustained Excellence award. Our longstanding efforts exemplify an ongoing commitment to leverage our integrated retail capabilities for maximum energy efficiency in the marketplace. Some of our accomplishments last year included:
- Energy Savings: Sears makes energy management its focus to drive operational excellence. We continue to have success in reducing our energy consumption. In 2013, Sears’ total weather normalized source energy usage decreased by five percent compared to 2012. Sears also reduced electricity usage by 6.6 percent savings over the previous year.
- Recycling Efforts: Sears recycled over 100,000 ink cartridges in 2013, which saved over 3,000 gallons of gasoline and nearly 63,000 lbs of CO2 equivalent. Additionally, we worked with vendors to recycle 1,226 tons of antifreeze for use in our Auto Centers. In 2013, we also recycled 137,578 tons of cardboard and paper, which saved the following resources:
- 1,650,941 Mature Trees—Representing enough saved timber resources to produce more than 20,455,156,500 sheets of newspaper
- 481,524 Cubic Yards of Landfill space—Enough space to fulfill the municipal waste disposal needs for 618,396 people for one year
- 564,071,440 Kw-Hrs of Electricity from Recycling—Enough power to meet the annual electricity needs of more than 47,005 homes
- 330,843 Barrels of Oil—Enough oil to heat and cool more than 68,813 homes for one year
- 963,048,800 Gallons of Water—Representing enough fresh water to meet the daily fresh water needs of more than 12,840,650 people
- Product Selection: We continue to develop business strategies related to ENERGY STAR products in our stores. During the year Sears introduced new energy efficient technology for Kenmore laundry and dishwashers as well as the continuous development of the connected appliance/home energy management portfolio being introduced this year.
- Marketing: Several utility partners created brand pages on the Shop Your Way platform to promote ENERGY STAR and contribute to our corporate goal of providing a “wow” membership experience. We are also the first retailer expanding our instant rebates online, allowing automatic location-based rebates.
- Partnership: We also worked to build strong relationship with local utilities differentiating the company from other retailers. Through the Sears Green Leadership team, we are able to capitalize on these relationships to drive traffic to stores and generate awareness for the ENERGY STAR brand.
Protecting the environment and inspiring our members to do the same is important to us at Sears. It is through key partnerships, such as RAD, that we are able to strive for operational excellence as a company, build a team of engaged and passionate associates, and deliver a “wow” experience to each member by understanding their specific needs and offering them the right products and services to fit their lives.
Paul Campbell is Director, Environmental Sustainability of Sears Holdings Supply Chain Business Unit.