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Macy’s steps up sustainability efforts


Macy’s has announced a series of new initiatives in its multi-year strategic program to enhance environmental sustainability. They are consistent with the company’s sustainability principles first adopted in 2008 and implemented with increasing intensity during the past six years.

Results through 2013 include a 38% reduction in the company’s electricity usage since 2002 and a 95% adoption rate of recycled or certified paper used in the company’s marketing materials.

“We have come a long way in making our company more efficient, less wasteful and greener –which is important to our customers, associates, shareholders and communities,” said Amy Hanson, the Macy’s, EVP who oversees sustainability activities. “In all, we have already implemented more than 100 new sustainability ideas in the past six years. But the more we do, the more we learn about opportunities for further improvement. We are more committed today than ever to pursuing new advances in sustainability and finding pragmatic steps we can take to become responsible stewards of our environment while also engaging our workforce and reducing costs.”

The company is collaborating with Volta Industries to install 17 new free-to-operate electric vehicle (EV) charging stations outside eight Macy’s stores in the Los Angeles area by late fall 2014. Planned locations include Del Amo Fashion Center in Torrance, Los Cerritos Center, Montebello Town Center, Montclair Plaza, Pasadena, Sherman Oaks Fashion Square, Simi Valley Town Center and The Oaks in Thousand Oaks. This installation will bring to 33 the number of EV charging stations available to customers at Macy's store locations in southern California. In 2011, Macy’s became the first major department store to pilot the use of EV charging stations when it forged an agreement to install 16 charging stations outside five Macy’s stores and one Bloomingdale’s store in the San Diego area, which are currently being operated as part of the Blink Network, the company said.

Macy’s also entered a new phase of its industry-leading program to install energy-saving LED light bulbs in stores nationwide. The company has already installed more than 1.1 million LED bulbs in more than 800 Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s stores across America, cutting energy consumption used in lighting by up to 73% compared with conventional bulbs replaced. In 2014, LED technology is being extended to begin replacing fluorescent fixtures in store locations.

It is planning and developing 20 additional solar power arrays to be installed on the roofs of stores and distribution centers in California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York and other states in 2014 and 2015. At year-end 2013, solar energy was being generated on 55 active installations at Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s facilities.

The company’s product development organization, Macy’s Private Brands, has joined the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, a trade organization working to reduce the environmental and social impacts of apparel and footwear products around the world. SAC is made up of brands, retailers, manufacturers, government, and non-governmental organizations and academic experts, representing more than a third of the global apparel and footwear market.

Macy’s is also working to reduce waste in the merchandise supply chain by standardizing the size of packing cartons, incorporating recycled polyester fibers in many woven garment labels, minimizing packaging materials and adopting paper hangtags made from FSC-certified paper. Work on packaging reduction is being researched and piloted in Macy’s Private Brands, with plans to collaborate with market merchandise vendors in the months ahead.

In 2013, nearly 18% of Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s customers opted for paperless statements, saving about 745,000 pounds of paper. The company is also driving adoption of digital receipts, which are available in all Macy’s stores nationwide. When making a purchase, customers can choose to have a copy of their receipt emailed to them, thus eliminating the unnecessary use of paper receipts. Digital receipts are a convenience for many customers and support the company’s sustainability objective of reducing the use of paper in its business operations. In 2013, about 6% of all store transactions were paperless.

Macy’s also raised awareness and more than $700,000 for community parks, recreation and conservation across America in collaboration with the National Recreation and Park Association through a program called Macy’s Heart Your Park. Macy’s stores nationwide each selected a local park or green space in their community to support, with more than 550 local parks benefiting from the program. Macy’s contributed $250,000 in matching to customer donations made at Macy’s stores.

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