Walgreens — the largest pharmacy retail chain in the United States — has announced plans to reduce its carbon footprint by building a store that generates all of its required electricity on site.
As part of the company’s Net Zero campaign, Walgreens’ green initiative to reduce energy usage by 20 percent across all of its locations by 2020, the new self-sustaining store will be built in Evanston, Illinois, just north of Chicago. To generate power, the store will include geothermal generators, two wind turbines and more than 800 solar panels. Energy-efficient building materials, LED lighting and ultra high-efficiency refrigeration will also be used to to help conserve wattage.
According to estimations, engineers expect the the store to generate around 265,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) per year. Store operation will only require 200,000 kWh, so perhaps that extra wattage could be pumped back into the grid or used to power nearby utilities.
“We are committed to reducing our carbon footprint and leading the retail industry in use of green technology,” Thomas Connolly, Walgreens vice president of facilities development, said in a company statement. “We are investing in developing a net-zero store so we can learn the best way to bring these features to our other stores. Because we operate 8,000 stores, we believe our pursuit of green technology can have a significant positive impact on the nation’s environment.”
Credit: Walgreens, Business Wire