Home Depot sets big goal for renewable electricity

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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The Home Depot is investing in green energy as it looks to dramatically reduce its carbon emissions.

The world's largest home improvement retailer set a goal to reach 100% renewable electricity for its facilities by 2030, as it works to extend its efforts to improve the environment through cleaner energy.  (Target also recently pledged to reach 100% renewable electricity for its facilities in the same timeframe.)

The Home Depot’s renewable energy goal was released in its 2021 Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) report, which details the company’s environmental, social and governance initiatives and progress made in 2020. Electricity use in Home Depot’s U.S. stores fell more than 14% last year due to the installation of LED lighting, the use of building-automation systems and the addition of energy-efficient heating, air conditioning and ventilation systems.  In total, from 2010 to 2020, the chain reduced its U.S. store electricity consumption by 44%. Department store 

In addition, Home Depot reduced Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions by more than 127,000 metric tons in 2020, a 22% reduction in carbon intensity, while at the same time growing its business nearly 20%. The retailer announced it has joined the Science Based Targets initiative to reduce global emissions, committing to set goals for Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions by 2023.  

The Science Based Target Initative (SBTi) mobilizes companies to set science-based targets and boost their competitive advantage in the transition to the low-carbon economy. Other notable retail participants include Amazon

With regards to its social and governance initiative, the company’s U.S. hires in 2020 were 35% female and 53% ethnically and racially diverse. The Home Depot also enhanced its 20-year diversity and inclusion initiative, elevating the chief diversity officer role, growing its diversity, equity and inclusion program and setting a goal to expand associate resource groups.

In 2020, Home Depot spent $3.2 billion with diverse suppliers and announced it is creating a program to encourage its suppliers to increase their business with diverse suppliers, expanding the company's downstream impact with diverse organizations nationwide.

The retailer paid approximately $2 billion in enhanced pay and benefits to front-line, hourly associates in 2020 in response to COVID-19. It also paid $616 million in success-sharing bonus payments to non-management associates.

"Our commitment to reducing our impact on the planet, taking care of our people, and building strong, sustainable communities is foundational to who we are," said Craig Menear, chairman and CEO of The Home Depot. "More than 40 years ago, our founders gave us eight core values that continue to guide our business today. The progress we made in 2020 demonstrates the commitment of our associates and suppliers to these values, as they prioritized taking care of our associates, customers and communities, as well as the environment, while navigating a year unlike any other."

The Home Depot operates a total of 2,298 retail stores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, 10 Canadian provinces, and Mexico.