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CSR Updates: Kohl’s, CVS, Intel

For several years Kohl’s Department Stores has issued separate shareholder reports on social responsibility and sustainability efforts. This year marks the company’s first formal, comprehensive social responsibility report.

In 2011, Kohl’s revised its environmental strategies to reflect an enhanced focus on supply chain sustainability efforts and stakeholder engagement, with operational programs such as energy efficiency, building design and waste reduction continuing to serve as a key focus.

Other 2011 environmental highlights include:

  • 121 solar arrays at stores and corporate facilities.
  • ENERGY STAR certification for 677 locations.
  • Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council for more than 200 locations and earned Gold LEED pre-certification on its prototypes for new and existing stores.
  • Purchased more than 1.4 billion kWh of renewable energy credits, offsetting 100 percent of Kohl’s purchased electricity use.
  • Recycled 78 percent of all operating waste.
  • Surveyed the company’s top 300 vendors on their sustainability practices each quarter, with the average score improving seven points from 2010.
  • Executed 18,880 backhaul trips to its distribution centers from vendors on return trips to stores, eliminating more than 4.3 million empty miles.
  • Served as a participant in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Building’s Challenge, a founding circle member of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition and a participant in Business for Social Responsibility’s Energy Efficiency Pilot.

In this year's CSR Report, pharmacy chain CVS details progress related to its goal of reducing carbon intensity by 15 percent by 2018 through a variety of sustainability measures.

In 2011 the company emitted 1,800,500 tons of CO2e – 87% of which was associated with electricity use from operations. To date, the company has made only slight improvements in reducing the intensity of electricity use, and absolute figures on electricity and natural gas have inched upwards over the last three years as new stores have been built. However, the expansion of an energy management system across 5,000 stores in 2011 should have an impact in coming years, as well as lighting efficiency upgrades.

The company also is working to improve fuel efficiency through the optimization of shipping routes and systems, and has been successful in reducing overall water usage, despite a growing amount of retail space.

The CVS Caremark 2011 CSR Report was developed in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) G3 Guidelines, an international framework widely recognized and used by organizations to report on their CSR and sustainability performance.     

Intel Corporation’s 2011 Corporate Responsibility Report includes new 2020 environmental goals focused on driving improvement in the company’s manufacturing operations and the energy efficiency of its products. The goals include:

  • Reduce direct greenhouse gas emissions by 10 percent on a per chip basis by 2020 from 2010 levels.
  • Design all new buildings to a minimum Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver Certification between 2010 and 2020.
  • Increase the energy efficiency of notebook computers and data center products 25 times by 2020 from 2010 levels.
  • Achieve additional energy savings of 1.4 billion kWh from 2012 to 2015, and publish additional energy conservation targets for 2016–2020 in its 2012 report.
  • Reduce water use on a per chip basis below 2010 levels by 2020.
  • Achieve zero chemical waste to landfill by 2020. 

Last month, Intel was ranked a top climate innovator by risk analysis company Maplecroft.

Bart King is a PR/marketing communications consultant and principal at Cleantech Communications.

Bart King is the principal of New Growth Communications, a network of affiliated content producers and strategists serving clients in the emerging green economy. He is also Associate Editor of Sponsored Content for Sustainable Brands. Follow him @bart_king [Read more about Bart King]

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