J.C. Penney sets goal to reduce energy use 20% by 2015

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Plano, Texas J. C. Penney Co. announced an environmental goal to reduce facility energy consumption 20% per gross square foot by 2015 through increasing energy-efficiency improvements and driving a company culture that advocates and practices conservation.

Over the past decade, the company said it has invested more than $130 million to improve the energy efficiency of its existing stores and logistics centers by installing advanced metering technology, building control systems, lighting retrofits and high-efficiency heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems.

In 2009 alone, these combined efforts resulted in a year-over-year elimination of approximately 80 million lbs. of greenhouse gas emissions by reducing energy use across comparable stores.

The company has taken an inclusive hands-on approach to addressing the company’s environmental impact. In 2004, J.C. Penney launched an associate awareness and engagement program, now referred to as EMPowered, which encourages and educates every associate to seek out innovative ways to save energy.

Associates are regarded as environmental stewards who are actively involved in helping to reduce the company’s overall emissions by curtailing unnecessary energy usage. Through EMPowered, J.C. Penney stores designate an “Energy Captain” who takes responsibility for monitoring energy-usage levels, identifying opportunities for improvement and promoting energy-saving efforts throughout the facility. J.C. Penney logistics centers employ similar initiatives using associate-based “Green Teams.”

“To become a more sustainable business, we needed to involve our 150,000 associates whose individual actions and habits can have a profound effect in achieving energy conservation every day,” said Myron E. (Mike) Ullman, III, chairman and CEO of J.C. Penney. “A true commitment to environmental progress begins with an organization that is willing to take the necessary steps toward a cleaner environment.”