Macy's plans for 'sustainability'
Macy's Inc announced a series of new steps in its ongoing drive to operate more sustainably and to make a meaningful difference in improving the environment.
"Our company has embraced the principles of sustainability, and we continue to take actions that are tangible, measurable and meaningful in reducing our use of scarce resources and improving the efficiency of our business in serving customer needs," said Tom Cole, Macy's chief administrative officer. "We have made significant progress over the past several years, and we continue to move forward with new ideas in 2011 and beyond."
In fall 2011, Macy's will begin using environmentally friendly matte black hangers for most apparel merchandise sold in its stores, replacing clear hangers that have been the industry standard for several decades.
Macy's uses nearly 300 million hangers each year in its stores. The new black hangers can be manufactured using recycled plastic materials, saving on the new petroleum-based resins used to make clear hangers. Macy's will be asking its apparel vendors to begin shipping merchandise to Macy's on black hangers in fall 2011, with the transition expected to be complete in spring 2012. Macy's is migrating to black hangers in conjunction with the Voluntary Industry Commerce Solutions (VICS) Association, an industry group in which it plays a leadership role.
Macy's, in partnership with ECOtality, is expected to become the first major department store to pilot the use of self-serve electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, through The EV Project. The company plans to install two electric vehicle charging stations this fall outside each of six Macy's stores in the San Diego metropolitan area (locations are being identified). The charging stations will provide an added convenience to EV drivers and help promote the reduction of fuel consumption and the transition to clean, renewable energy.
Macy's has become a Recyclebank Rewards Partner, allowing customers across America to earn special discounts at Macy's when they increase household recycling, reduce household energy usage and practice green lifestyles. Recyclebank helps create a more sustainable future by rewarding people for taking everyday green actions with discounts and deals from local and national businesses such as Macy's.
The company has launched a second phase of its industry-leading program to install energy-saving LED light bulbs in stores nationwide. In 2011, the company plans to install about 280,000 LED bulbs in about 200 Macy's stores. This is in addition to more than 130,000 bulbs installed in 95 Macy's stores in 2010, cutting energy consumption by up to 73 percent.
By the end of 2011, Macy's will have eliminated the use of all foam packaging (cups, bowls, plates and to-go containers) at its in-store restaurants nationwide. Foam has been replaced by paper or plastic containers that are made from renewable resources and/or are recyclable. The company used more than 2.7 million foam containers as recently as 2009. That number was reduced by about 50 percent in 2010 and will be further reduced to zero by the end of 2011. In addition, the company will be using only napkins made from 40% post-consumer recycled paper that is unbleached. Currently, Macy's uses more than 4 million napkins a year.