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Kohl's to build 'green' stores


MILWAUKEE (AP) Kohl's has unveiled its plan to go green from floor to ceiling in stores opening up next fall, according to reports.

Like other corporations before them, the company plans to follow guidelines to earn Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification from the Washington-based U.S. Green Building Council, said Ken Bonning, executive vice president of logistics for Kohl's.

All of its newly built stores will become environmentally friendly through measures such as using sustainable materials and cutting down on energy costs, including insulation made from recyclable materials. Lighting, heating and cooling units will also be controlled from the company's headquarters to prevent excess energy consumption.

Bonning said Tuesday the company estimates the changes would reduce energy consumption by as much as 15 percent.

"We think it's not only good for the environment, but it's also good for our business," he said.

The announcement comes as Kohl's continues its expansion across the company. The retailer plans to add nearly 500 stores in the next five years. At the end of this month, it will operate 929 stores in 47 states. It hopes to have 1,400 stores by 2012.

The changes will affect new stores the company builds, not ones that move into pre-existing buildings. The Menomonee Falls, Wis.-based retailer plans to open 80 new stores in 2008, spread across 28 states including Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Michigan and Pennsylvania.

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