J. C. Penney Company, Inc announced an environmental goal to reduce facility energy consumption 20 percent per gross square foot by 2015 through increasing energy efficiency improvements and driving a company culture which advocates and practices conservation. Over the past decade, the Company 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 (HVAC) systems. In 2009 alone, these combined efforts resulted in a year-over-year elimination of approximately 80 million pounds of greenhouse gas emissions by reducing energy use across comparable stores.
JCPenney has taken an inclusive, "hands-on" approach to addressing the Company's environmental impact. In 2004, JCPenney 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, JCPenney 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. JCPenney 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 chief executive officer of JCPenney. "A true commitment to environmental progress begins with an organization that is willing to take the necessary steps toward a cleaner environment."
Due to the Company's comprehensive approach to energy management, JCPenney was the first retailer to earn the ENERGY STAR Award for Sustained Excellence by the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. JCPenney recently earned its 100th ENERGY STAR building certification for the JCPenney store in Glenwood Springs, Colo. To be certified, stores must attain an energy efficiency rating in the top quartile for all retail buildings while maintaining appropriate levels of comfort, lighting and air quality. The Company seeks to achieve ENERGY STAR certifications for a total of 200 Stores by the end of 2010 - a significant accomplishment given the average age of JCPenney stores.