Electricity and fuels used to operate our stores generate the majority of the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions we can control directly. For this reason, we have a long history of focusing on increasing energy efficiency and finding ways to reduce energy consumption and waste in our stores.
As our business continues to grow and expand, we believe that it is important to continue to improve the efficiency of the lighting and heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) technologies within our stores, home offices and distribution centers.
A team of global energy subject matter experts meets periodically throughout the year to collaborate and share best practices for reducing energy consumption and waste across our stores, home offices and distribution centers. This group supports the energy data collection efforts for our over 3,600 sites as part of our global corporate GHG inventory. They also review progress against TJX’s corporate GHG target and identify key topics to be considered by our global Executive Environmental Steering Committee.
Additionally, we have regional Energy Management groups. These were initially established more than 25 years ago in the U.S. As our operations have expanded geographically, we also have groups across our global operations that are responsible for managing our energy consumption and costs. These groups are tasked with analyzing and improving current operational performance, and testing, prioritizing and implementing energy efficiency technologies and products.
Some of our energy efficiency programs include:
Members of our Energy Management groups also work with our store design teams to increase the energy efficiency of our new and re-modeled stores. These energy reduction initiatives and programs driven by the geographies are key contributors to reaching our global emissions reduction goal.
Renewable energy is an increasingly important part of TJX’s environmental sustainability strategy. Internally, we have convened subject matter experts from across our operations to further explore our approaches to renewable energy and to review the opportunities that are currently available in their local marketplaces. As part of our exploration of renewable energy, we intend to benchmark against other companies’ goals and activities, as well as research global initiatives and guidance. We continue to actively evaluate alternative energy solutions and purchasing opportunities that are appropriate for our facilities, taking into account the economic and operational feasibility. For TJX, onsite renewable electricity generation opportunities are limited as typically, we do not build or own our store locations. For this reason, we are generally pursuing offsite renewable energy alternatives opportunistically.
In the U.S., in some regions, we enter into Purchase Power Agreements (PPA) with renewable energy providers. We do not typically purchase the unbundled energy certificates. We have solar panels on the roofs of select stores in New Jersey and California and on our Connecticut distribution center. We also ensure that roofs on our newly constructed distribution centers are designed to accommodate solar panels should we choose to install them in the future.
In Canada in 2015, we applied for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification of our new Canadian home office building. As part of this process, we purchased Green-e certified renewable energy credits equal to 100% of the electricity usage of the building for one year. In Europe, we contracted for renewable energy (Guarantees of Origin Certificates) for a significant portion of the electricity used in our stores, processing centers and offices in Germany. Our processing centers in Germany and Poland have incorporated both solar and geothermal technologies. We are also considering options relating to energy generated from renewable sources in our U.K. operations.
In 2015, our U.S. Energy Management group worked to reduce energy and emissions in these key ways:
In Canada, we have an Energy Optimization group, which is comprised of representatives from Store Design and Construction, Maintenance, Finance and Environmental Sustainability. The team takes a similar approach as its U.S. counterpart, capturing and analyzing electric and gas usage to identify ways to conserve energy in our stores. The team focuses on:
In 2015, our Canadian team tested variable frequency drive HVAC retrofits in 11 stores. The test is on track to yield an annual savings of more than 605,000 kWh – the equivalent of powering over 50 homes for 1 year!
In Europe, our focus on energy efficiency and conservation is deeply embedded into our business processes. Our Energy and Environment Committee is comprised of senior individuals from across the business, including Store Operations, Property, Distribution, Facilities, Finance, Store Design, Procurement and Corporate Responsibility as well as external expert consultants. The Committee is responsible for environmental sustainability goals. At the operations level, we also have an Energy Management Committee, comprised of internal Associates and an energy management specialist company, which has helped us to continue to improve our energy performance.
Recent key TJX Europe initiatives include: