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Kohl’s makes it easy being green


MENOMONEE FALLS, Wis. — Kohl’s has activated its largest solar project to date at its million-sq.-ft. e-commerce fulfillment center in Edgewood, Md.

Kohl’s, a leader in renewable energy usage, opened the facility in 2011, and recently earned Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification from the U.S. Green Building Council at the gold level. The location is Kohl’s sixth solar site in Maryland. It is also the company’s first LEED-certified logistics facility.

“The Edgewood facility demonstrates Kohl’s collective approach to environmental responsibility in many ways, including our commitment to collaboration with our partners and expanding our successful programs such as solar and LEED certification,” said John Worthington, Kohl’s CAO. “We worked with experts internally and externally to maximize the sustainable aspects of this site, which ranged from expanding onto and retrofitting an existing building structure to addressing the nature of the distribution center as an industrial, round-the-clock facility with different operational considerations than what our stores may have. We are very pleased with the results and look forward to carrying forward what we have learned into future building and LEED projects.”

The Edgewood e-commerce fulfillment center's 2.4 MW, 8,360-panel rooftop solar array will generate more than 3 million kWh of electricity annually and provide more than 40% of the facility’s energy. Up until this project, Kohl’s largest solar site was its San Bernardino, Calif., distribution center with a 1 MW, 6,208-panel rooftop solar array. As one of the largest single retail hosts of solar power in North America, Kohl’s solar portfolio now totals nearly 42 MW, generating more than 57,400 Megawatt-hours of electricity annually.

The company has also made continued progress related to its commitment to environmentally responsible building design, construction and operation. Beginning with the gold LEED certification of its Milwaukee photo studio in 2008, Kohl’s set a goal to LEED certify all new corporate buildings and all newly constructed stores. The company has since earned LEED gold certification on volume prototypes for new and existing stores, resulting in more than 300 LEED-certified locations from coast to coast.

In addition to its rooftop solar panels, the project’s construction waste management efforts diverted 95% of construction waste from local landfills. More than 32% of the construction building materials by cost in the e-commerce fulfillment center are made of recycled content. More than 43% of the building materials by cost were regionally manufactured or harvested from within 500 miles of the site. The building’s exterior features white membrane roofing material to reduce the building’s energy demand and minimize its heat island impact. The building’s interior finish construction materials contain no or low volatile organic compounds.

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