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Environmental Initiatives
The Sustainability Strategy
How The Home Depot Turns Ideas Into Action

Sustainable Forestry

We promote responsible forestry management through industry leading wood purchasing policy.
SAVE GREEN, LIVE GREEN
Our 7,000 + Eco Options products save energy overnight, money overtime, and the planet for years to come.
 
 
​Environmental Milestones
Sustainability at the Home Depot in 2011
2011 was a great year for sustainability progress at The Home Depot. We continued to gain momentum in sustainability measures through our Sustainability Integration System. In 2011 we enhanced our Sustainability Integration System by creating category captains to drive change and present their progress at the quarterly Environmental Council meetings. They are:

Energy

Vice President Electrical

Water

Vice President Plumbing

Information Technology

Vice President Information Systems

Supply Chain

Vice President Distribution

Stores

Director Construction

Packaging

Director Packaging


 
Process
Starting with the refinement of our Sustainability Strategy we maintained our focus on the five key areas for structured improvements:
•    Energy/Water use
•    Carbon Emission
•    Sustainable operations
•    Sustainable product assortment
•    Supply Chain impact

We set specific goals and targets for energy use, rainwater capturing, new store construction impact reduction and recycled products (we recycle batteries, CFLs, cardboard etc.) plus many others.
 
Highlights from 2011
 
Energy/Water use:

Absolute energy use reduction of 105,428,172 kW/h over 2010

•    Upgraded energy management systems for lighting control, daily lighting and high efficiency HVAC units
•    Switched to high efficiency T5 fluorescent lighting lowering wattage to 44 from 54 watts
•    Using new irrigation systems that reduce water usage by 35%
•    Dual flush, low flow toilets and urinals, low flow faucets that reduce water usage by 40%
•    On track to meet our 20% reduction of store energy use by 2015

Carbon Emissions: 2011 vs. 2010 (-777,784 metric tons)
•    Scope 1 and 2 absolute reduction of 53,084 metric tons of GHGs
•    Scope 3 absolute reduction of 724,700 metric tons of GHGs
•    Rated a Sector Leader by Carbon Disclosure Project

Sustainable operations:
•    150,000 tons of cardboard recycled
•    Rain water reclamation tanks installed in 36 Garden Centers = 500,000 gallons of water saved per year per store
•    1.6 million pounds of CFL bulbs recycled for our customers
•    3 million pounds of rechargeable batteries recycled for consumers
•    New Automated Tool Rental paperless contracts in store saved 12,275,079 pages per year
•    Replaced many existing roofs with white thermoplastic polyolefin roofs with high reflectivity reducing heat island effect
•    Partnering with (DOE) Department of Energy to develop a store that is 50% more energy efficient that the 2007 ASHRAE code: store opened April 2012
•    Piloting store irrigation systems that have water savings of over 35%
 
Sustainable product assortment:
•    Saved customers over $700 million in energy cost through energy saving products
•    Reduced customers energy use by 6,438,352,947 kW/h
•    From purchases consumers had a reduction of 4,969,752 tons of GHG emissions
•    Joined EPA RAD responsible appliance disposal recycle program
•    Awarded EPA Energy Star “Partner of the Year”
•    Awarded EPA WaterSense “Partner of the Year”
•    Consumer saved 28.7 billion gallons of water from their purchases
•    From purchases consumers saved $174 million on water utility bills
•    Gave consumers $16 million in price reduction incentives on water saving products
•    Sold more FSC certified wood than any company in North America
•    Sold over 35 million organic plant pots – replacing plastic
•    Expanded garden line to carry over 57 organic chemicals and 66 organic fertilizers
•    Began the process to be 60% No VOC paint and 40% Low VOC paint by July 2012
•    100% bath faucet conversion to EPA WaterSense certified
•    98% of refrigerators converted to EPA Energy Star certified
•    63% of toilets converted to EPA WaterSense certified
•    215% increase in LED bulb sales
•    Environmental education enhancement for green living to 23 million consumers per week through in-store efforts
•    Trained over 210,000 associates on Energy and Water efficiency product benefits to consumers
•    Created online utility rebate program for energy/water saving products

Supply Chain:
•    The Home Depot will perform over 1000 third party factory audits to ensure that our suppliers are complying with our safety, human rights and environmental standards
•    Partnered with Clean Energy to pilot (LNG) Liquefied Natural Gas tractors in Southern California
•    Implemented “No idling” policy at all 65 distribution centers
•    All transportation companies must be EPA “Smart Way” certified
•    Implemented Intermodal Transportation policy creating a 15.8% reduction of total truck loads moves. This equates to 5.2 million miles saved and 200,000 gallons of fuel saved.
•    Increased cube utilization in our distribution trucks by 11.4% over 2010
•    Continued rollout of automated Rapid Deployment Distribution Centers
•    On track to meet our Supply Chain 20% GHG emission reduction by 2015
 
Home Depot - Environmental Timeline

Following Earth Day of 1990, The Home Depot made a commitment to a corporate responsibility and environmental program to run the business with a focus on sustainability. We constantly strive for operational improvements to yield reductions in our energy consumption, water use, and carbon emissions. However, at The Home Depot, we feel the most significant way we can positively impact the environment is by offering conservation-minded and environmentally-friendly products readily available to our customers. We strive to bring you innovative "green" products and offer you choices when purchasing products based on their environmental claims and impacts. Over two decades have passed since we first moved to action on environmental policies and sustainability, and we continue to lead the charge in bringing new "green" innovations to the home improvement market. Take a look at our progress so far, listed below, or review our Eco Options Website

•    Home Depot Inc (NYSE: HD) has been named a Top 25 Socially Responsible Dividend Stock by Dividend Channel, signifying a stock with above-average ”Dividend Rank” statistics including a strong 2.3% yield, as well as being recognized by prominent asset managers as being a socially responsible investment, through analysis of social and environmental criteria. Environmental criteria include considerations like the environmental impact of the company’s products and services, as well as the company’s efficiency in terms of its use of energy and resources. Social criteria include elements such as human rights, child labor, corporate diversity, and the company’s impact on society — for instance, taken into consideration would be business activities tied to weapons, gambling, tobacco, and alcohol. (2012)
•    Energy Star® Retail Partner of the Year (2012)
•    WaterSense® Retail Partner of the Year (2011)
•    Carbon Disclosure Project Ranked Leader in Sector with a score of 82 (2011)
•    NEWSWEEK ranked #74 of top 500 green companies (2011)
•    Ranked #5 in the Southeastern Corporate Sustainability Rankings (2011)
•    The Home Depot announced one of the single largest retailer host solar programs, installing solar panels on 62 of our North American store locations. These solar panels produce 21 megawatts annually. (2010/2011)
•    The Home Depot announced a goal of cutting energy use in its stores by another 5% by 2015, resulting in a total reduction of 20% since 2004 - this represents a store usage savings of more than 8 billion kilowatt hours. (2010)
•    The Home Depot pledged to remove 20% of greenhouse gas emissions from its domestic supply chain by 2015. (2010)
•    Sales of The Home Depot's Eco Options products resulting in $740 million in utility bill saving - and cut more than 1.8 billion gallons of water consumption - for our customers. The Home Depot sold more Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified wood than any company in North America. (2009)
•    The Home Depot collected 667,000 lbs. of rechargeable batteries from our customers as part of the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation (RBRC) recycle program. (2009)
•    The Home Depot collected 170,000 tons of cardboard for recycling - that's 9,355 truckloads. (2009)
•    Launched in 2008, The Home Depot "Framing Hope" program has donated $90 million worth of products to over 1,400 local charitable partners. These supplies have been used to rebuild homes and neighborhoods, improving the lives of fellow citizens in each community. (2008)
•    Energy Star® Retail Partner of the Year (2007)
•    The Home Depot Foundation committed to invest $100 million over the next decade to build over 100,000 green affordable homes and plant three million trees. Eco Options products are introduced in the United States, and The Home Depot is named the ENERGY STAR® partner of the year for the second year in a row. (2007)
•    The Home Depot launches Eco Options in the USA on Earth Day (2007)
•    Alliance to Save Energy Galaxy Award for Energy Efficiency (2007).
•    Energy Star Retail Commitment Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (2005)
•    No. 1 Most Admired Specialty Retailer by Fortune magazine, The Home Depot’s record of environmental community and responsibility served as one of the eight ranking criteria (2006, 2005 and 1993-2002)
•    Energy Star® Retail Partner of the Year (2006)
•    The Home Depot donated $200,000 to the Conservation Fund Go Zero Program to offset the carbon emissions from the Atlanta SSC, which is the largest corporate facility to do so. (2006)
•    The Home Depot donated $1 million over three years to the Sustainable Forest Products Global Alliance and the World Wildlife Fund. (2005)
•    Canadian Environment Award for Mow Down Pollution won the gold medal prize in the Climate Change category presented by Canadian Geographic Magazine (2005)
•    Toronto Green Award was presented to The Home Depot Canada President Annette Verschuren; she received the Award of Excellence in Market Transformation (Canada – 2005)
•    No. 3 Ranking on Citizens Advisor’s Top 10 Corporate Citizens in Environmental Stewardship (2004)
•    Advocate of the Year from the Office of Energy Efficiency Natural Resources Canada (2004)
•    The Home Depot introduced Eco Options products in Canada. (2004)
•    National Product Campaign Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (2004, 2003)
•    After years of research, we determined item by item – from lumber to broom handles, doors to molding and paneling to plywood – where our wood products are harvested. We have shared our findings in the Wood Purchasing Policy section of this Web site. We contributed over $1.5 million to environmental nonprofit groups and entered into a partnership with The Nature Conservancy to promote sustainable timber harvesting in Indonesia. (2002)
•    The Home Depot was ranked 6th in Fortune magazine’s Top Ten Most Admired Companies and for eight consecutive years, the company has been ranked by Fortune as America’s Most Admired Specialty Retailer. The Home Depot ranks #1 in Social Responsibility among American consumers, according to a recent Internet-based survey conducted by Harris Interactive, Inc. and the Reputation institute. Home Depot also ranks in the top five in categories of Emotional Appeal, Products and Services, Workplace Environment, and Corporate Reputation. (The Wall Street Journal, Feb. 7, 2001).
•    The Home Depot was listed in Fortune magazine’s Top Ten Most Admired Companies and voted America’s Most Admired Retailer for the seventh consecutive year by Fortune magazine. The Home Depot’s progressive corporate culture includes a philanthropic budget of more than $25 million for 2000, which is directed back to the communities Home Depot serves and the interests of its associates through a Matching Gift Program. (2000)
•    Voted America's Most Admired Retailer for the sixth consecutive year by Fortune magazine. The Home Depot's record of environmental and community responsibility is one of eight ranking criteria. Granted over $750,000 to environmental non-profit groups. Led industry as the first retailer to join the Certified Forest Products Council demonstrating our commitment to third party independently certified products. Created The Home Depot's Commuter Connections Carpooling program available to over 3,000 associates in Atlanta, Georgia. (1999)
•    Received an "A" rating for our environmental programs from the Council on Economic Priorities' Corporate Report Card. Voted America's Most Admired Retailer for the fifth consecutive year by Fortune magazine. Established The Home Depot Environmental Council to create and implement environmental policies and strategies of the company. Established Timber Task Force to improve worldwide forest practices and review the environmental practices of key vendors. Established Waste Management Task Force to further minimize store waste, reduce packaging, and re-design products to be more environmentally friendly. Established Store Construction Task Force to decrease the "environmental footprint" of new stores. Established Alternative Products Task Force to identify green alternative products throughout the store. Committed $625,000 to environmental non-profit groups. Recycled over a million pounds of plastic slip-sheeting used as a replacement for wooden pallets. Became lead partner with 1-800-CLEANUP, a nationwide hotline that provides local recycling information to our customers. (1998)
•    Became official sponsor of the first America Recycles Day. Received Vision for America award from Keep America Beautiful for its commitment to American Communities (1997)
•    Received President's Council for Sustainable Development Award with Scientific Certification Systems and Collins Pine. Granted over $500,000 to support environmental research education. (1996)
•    Celebrated 25th Anniversary of Earth Day with revised Environmental Greenprint® and special environmental clinics in all stores. Committed $400,000 to support environmental causes, raising three-year total to $730,000. Environmental program selected by Renew America and the National Awards Council for Environmental Sustainability to appear in Environmental Success Index as "outstanding example of effective environmental solutions." Recognized by the President's National Science and Technology Council in a National Environmental Technology Strategy publication titled "Bridge to a Sustainable Future." Presidential Securities Social Investment Research Service highlighted environmental efforts by saying "Through a variety of programs, Home Depot has managed to position itself on the cutting edge of environmentally concerned specialty retailers, setting standards to which other retailers can be compared." (1995)
•    Became world's first home center to offer both tropical and temperate region wood products from forests independently certified as "Well-Managed" under Scientific Certification System's Forest Conservation Program. Opened ninth Recycling Depot operation. Donated $230,000 to a variety of environmental groups, and sponsored Affordable Environmental Greenprint® with Habitat for Humanity International. Demonstration home brought Environmental Greenprint® to life by incorporating over 40 alternative products available at The Home Depot. Led industry in changeover of interior doors to simulated wood from tropical rainforest wood. Implemented program to replace all wood shipping pallets with returnable and reusable "slip sheets," with goal of minimizing solid waste and reducing energy used in transportation and pressure on hardwood resources used to make wood pallets. Ranked by Fortune magazine as second most admired of 400 U.S. corporations. (1994)
•    Installed permanent banners on front wall of all stores, pledging commitment to continually improve environmental performance, community involvement, and social responsibility. Opened Recycling Depot on one-acre site next to Duluth, Georgia store, becoming world's first retailer to integrate a drive-thru recycling center with a store. Became world's first home improvement retailer to offer a product featuring an "Environmental Report Card." This "eco-profile" empowered consumers by offering the most comprehensive disclosure of environmental burdens ever included on a product label, based on the findings of a "cradle-to-grave" life-cycle assessment of a product's burdens from manufacture through use and disposal. Donated $100,000 to environmental groups as part of the company's ongoing social responsibility commitment. Received prestigious Honor Roll Award from National Environmental Development Association. NEDA recognizes The Home Depot for its "innovative environmental efforts. (1993)
•    To lead the U.S. EPA Lead Solder Education Initiative, discontinued sale of lead plumbing solder. Published the company's first Environmental Greenprint®. Became the first hardware industry retailer Partner in the U.S. EPA's Green Lights Program, committing to continue to improve the performance of our state-of-the-art computerized store lighting system. Began program to recycle gypsum wallboard shipping packaging, with the goal of eliminating an additional 10% of all solid waste. Program became hardware industry's first reverse distribution effort, as material was returned to manufacturers and added substantial volume to the corrugated cardboard that all stores recycled. (1992)
•    Published Environmental Principles, subsequently adopted by the National Retail Hardware Association and Home Center Institute, representing over 46,000 U.S. retail hardware stores and home centers. Started using recycled content materials for store and office supplies, advertising, signage, and shopping bags. Established an evaluation process for suppliers who make environmental marketing claims on product labels and optional independent scientific certification. (1991)
•    Environmental effort begins on the 20th anniversary of Earth Day (The Home Depot remains the only home center in North America with a full-time staff dedicated to environmental issues) (1990)