With “green” being all the rage these days, many Fortune 500 companiesare making the switch to solar power by partnering with solar powercompanies and using solar energy to power their offices and retailestablishments. A voluntary program called “The Green PowerPartnership” encourages organizations to go green and tracks theirannual green power purchases; let’s take a look at the top five and what they’re doing to reduce the environmental impacts associated withpurchased electricity use.
1. IntelCorporation: A world leader in silicon innovation, Intel comes in atthe top spot as the EPA’s largest Fortune 500 green power purchaser bybuying more than 1.4 billion kilowatt hours per year. This has theequivalent environmental impact of taking over 180,000 passenger carsoff the road or providing electricity to over 140,000 homes each year. The company gets over 50% of its energy needs from renewable energy.
2. Kohl’s: Kohl’sspecialty department stores ranks second with its purchases, whichaccounts for 100 % of its energy needs. The company is committed to be a leading environmentally responsible retailer by working with itsassociates and vendors. Kohl’s has launched a committed, integratedapproach to all facets of its business endeavors with a common goal oflong-term resource sustainability. The company has put in place fivestrategies to drive its environmental initiatives: maximize energyefficiency, minimize waste, responsible building design, reduce climatedamaging emissions, and encourage environmental values.
3. WholeFoods Market: For the fourth consecutive year, Whole Foods has offset100% of its use of electricity by making green power purchasing acompany-wide initiative. The company’s strategy is based on decisionsmade at its store level which empowers its employees to make decisionsfor their own area. Winning the EPA Green Power Leadership Award inboth 2004 and 2005, Whole Foods is a member of the Green PowerLeadership Club and boasts solar systems on over a dozen locations withcontracts for many more. Going forward, Whole Foods is incorporatinggreen building and minimum efficiency standards into the design of itsnew stores.
4. Dell: A globalprovider of IT systems and services, Dell Inc. is committed to reducingits facilities’ greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% by the year2015 via a three-step approach to its reduction strategy: 1) increaseenergy-efficiency 2) maximize purchases of green power and 3)responsibly offset remaining effects going forward. The company firstbegan purchasing green power in 2003; currently, its headquarters andsome of its smaller facilities are powered by 100% green electricity.Dell is also building structures in its parking lots that shade 50parking spaces and provide charging stations for vehicles that need tobe plugged in.
5. Johnson& Johnson: Also meeting its energy efficiency and solar initiatesmore than two times over, Green Power Partner Johnson & Johnson,rounds out the top five list of leaders in the procurement of greenpower. Its goal is to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions 7% below 1990 levels by the end of this year. The company’s power usage includes the direct purchase of wind power, on-site solar PV, and the purchase ofrenewable energy certificates from wind power and biomass facilities.Johnson & Johnson’s believes that the investment in green power notonly benefits the environment, but also provides the company with areliable and stable supply of energy. The company installed its firstsolar system at its facility in Pennsylvania and found it so successfulthat it added it to five additional locations.