Along with energy-efficiency initiatives, we leverage low-carbon energy sources as well as carbon offsets2 in our efforts to reduce emissions from our global corporate GHG inventory. Low-carbon energy is an increasingly important part of our approach to reducing GHG emissions from electricity consumption. We also use offsets from verified carbon reduction projects to reduce emissions from other emissions sources. For example, we use offsets to reduce emissions generated from our Canadian Associates’ business travel.
Renewable and Low Carbon Energy
As a global company, we operate in many different energy and renewables markets. Opportunities for using renewable energy vary greatly from country to country and even within regions. Additionally, for TJX, onsite, renewable electricity-generation opportunities are limited as we typically do not build or own our stores. We have regional strategies to support our efforts, and subject matter experts review opportunities, deal structures, and procurement strategies that are currently available in their local marketplaces. They continue to evaluate alternative energy solutions and purchasing opportunities for our facilities, taking into account the economic and operational feasibility of projects. Some examples of our current sourcing strategies include:
Wholesale power purchase agreements
On-site power purchase agreements
Electricity supply contracts
Renewable energy credits
In 2018, we purchased nearly 320 million kilowatt-hours of renewable energy in total, sourced from a variety of technologies. This is nearly 65% more than the amount of renewable energy sourced in the previous year and reflects our Company’s increasing commitment to renewable energy overall. In the U.S. and Canada, our approach to renewable energy includes installing solar panels on select buildings, contracting with utilities for renewables, and purchasing renewable energy credits from national, new-renewable facilities. Our renewable energy strategies and low-carbon energy purchases in 2018 enabled us to reduce our Scope 2 market-based GHG inventory by more than 150,000 metric tons of CO2e, more than double the emissions reduction impacts from the previous year.
TJX leases the vast majority of its stores, which limits our ability to generate renewable electricity on a broader scale. However, we have found opportunities in our distribution centers, which we own, and where market conditions and landlord partnerships enable projects. In the U.S., specific efforts include solar panels installed on the roofs of select stores in New Jersey, Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, and California and distribution centers in Arizona, Connecticut, and Nevada. We have also designed the roofs on our new distribution centers to accommodate solar panels and have evaluated the potential for future use of solar panel installations at distribution centers and home offices. We believe these efforts position us well to expand our solar projects where it makes sense for the business in the future. In 2017, we were proud to go live with two new solar panel installations on our Arizona distribution centers, including the largest solar panel installation in TJX history.
In Phoenix: Nearly 13,000 solar panels power about 30% of the distribution center’s electricity consumption, netting a carbon savings that is roughly the equivalent of taking more than 285 cars off the road each year. By powering our distribution center, in part, by the sun, we saved nearly $300,000 in 2018.
In Tucson: Nearly 4,500 solar panels power about 20% of the distribution center’s electricity consumption, equivalent to the amount of carbon absorbed by about 360 acres of trees and providing a cost savings of about $250,000 in 2018.
In Canada, in 2018, we purchased renewable energy credits that reduced our electricity-related emissions by 85%. In Europe, our processing centers in Bergheim, Germany and Wroclaw, Poland utilize onsite energy generated through solar and geothermal technologies. In Ireland, we buy 100% renewable energy.
For the 2018 GHG inventory, TJX Canada purchased carbon offsets to cover its remaining operational emissions, including Scope 1 and Scope 3 emissions3 (from business travel and waste), as well as Scope 2 emissions not covered by renewable energy purchases. For our offset purchase, we chose a VCS-certified4 project known as the Darkwoods Forest Carbon Project, located in southeastern British Columbia. The project provides multiple conservation benefits, including protecting over 250,000 acres of forest and ensuring that natural habitats for wildlife are not disrupted.