Sears Holdings  
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Environmental Sustainability

With more than 3800 full-line and specialty stores in the U.S. and Canada, Sears Holdings recognizes the importance of being a positive, contributing member of the communities in which we work and live. Part of that is tied to the company’s commitment to environmental sustainability. Sears Holdings currently has programs aimed at strengthening the company’s paper policy, reducing the energy consumption at our stores, recycling in our facilities and helping our customers reduce their own carbon footprints. Some of the initiatives are happening now, and some are a work in progress.


Between 2004 and 2006 SHC has reduced electricity consumption by over 230 million kWh on a comparable store basis. In 2007, SHC reduced electricity consumption by an additional 220 million kWh over 2006. The electric consumption plan for 2008 was a reduction target of over 200 million kWh; however actual reduction of energy usage is 438 million kWh or enough to power over, on average, 39,000 American homes for a year.

This remarkable reduction has been achieved by:

  • Aggressively retrofitting inefficient metal halide and T12 fluorescent lighting with energy efficient T8 or T5 fluorescent lighting
  • Cadenced replacement of incandescent lighting with Compact Florescent Lighting (CFL)
  • Cadenced replacement of incandescent exit signs with LED exit signs
  • Cadenced installation of motion sensors to control lighting in distribution centers and stockrooms
  • Widespread use of energy management systems (EMS) to control HVAC and lighting
  • Targeted installation of Variable Frequency Drives (VFD) controlling air handlers
  • Targeted installation of energy efficient HVAC Roof Top Units (RTU) and chillers
  • Targeted replacement of roofs with energy efficient material
  • Strict policies regulating building temperature settings
  • Strict policies regarding light levels
  • Voluntary energy curtailment efforts during peak energy demand
  • Aggressive monthly review of energy usage


Sears Holdings Corporation believes in the responsible use of natural resources and our preference is to work with suppliers that practice sustainable forestry. We continue to work within the supply chain to promote certification of forests and fiber. We've developed a paper policy to address many of these issues.

For additional information on Canadian forest products, please visit FPAC.

Polyvinyl Chloride

Sears Holdings Corporation PVC Policy

Some studies suggest that the manufacture, use and disposal of Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) is directly or indirectly linked to both environmental and health concerns. Sears Holdings Corporation is working to reduce and phase out PVC in its packaging and merchandise.

As such, Sears Holdings Corporation will:

  • Identify safer, more sustainable and cost-effective alternatives to PVC and incorporate them into the design and manufacturing process for private label merchandise and packaging;
  • Show preference for PVC-free materials that do not contain highly hazardous chemicals and set a long term goal of sourcing bio-based polymers that are sustainably sourced, have higher recycled content, and can be reused, recycled, or composted;
  • Show preference to incorporate the Society of the Plastics Industry labeling system on private label merchandise packaging to make it easier for consumers to incorporate packaging options into their purchase decision;
  • Show preference to mark private label merchandise as PVC-free when true;
  • Encourage vendors to reduce or eliminate their use of PVC in merchandise and packaging;
  • Encourage vendors to utilize the Society of the Plastics Industry labeling system on packaging;
  • Encourage vendors to label their merchandise as PVC-free when true.


In 2008, SHC recycled:

  • Cardboard: 178,819 tons
  • Hangers: 1,087 tons
  • Newspaper: 87 tons
  • Office Paper: 215 tons
  • Plastic Bags: 75 tons
  • Plastic: 18 tons
  • Shrink wrap: 191 tons
  • Styrofoam: 2.5 tons
  • Tires: 54,525 tons
  • Used oil: 15,014,174 pounds
  • Batteries: 37,799,838 pounds
  • Lamps: 1,361,809 pounds

Responsible Appliance Disposal

Sears Holdings is the only broadline retailer to join the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's voluntary Responsible Appliance Disposal (RAD) Program. Through this partnership with the EPA, Sears Home Services is committed to disposing of end-of-life refrigerators, freezers, dehumidifiers and window air conditioners in an environmentally-friendly manner. The removal and disposal of these used customer appliances through a national network of liquidators and suppliers significantly reduces energy consumption, prevents release of ozone depleting substances and greenhouse gases, ensures proper recovery and disposal of PCBs, mercury and used oil, and saves landfill space and energy by recycling durable materials such as metals and plastics. This partnership allows Sears to be a leader in the industry while still providing an important �green� service to our customers.

In 2008, as a result of the RAD program, Sears Home Services reported to the EPA that our appliance liquidators and suppliers had reclaimed, recycled and/or destroyed the following materials:

  • Refrigerant (including recovered from compressor oil): 255,769 lbs. reclaimed and/or incinerated
  • Foam Blowing Agent: 9,053 lbs. reclaimed and 90,530 lbs. destroyed
  • Used Oil: 57,494 gal. reclaimed
  • Metal (ferrous/non-ferrous) � 44,338,000 lbs. recycled
  • Rubber � 831,339 lbs. recycled
  • Plastic � 5,542,000 lbs. recycled


Reusable Bags

Starting October 2008 in Kmart and December 2008 in Sears we introduced a reusable bag program where consumers can purchase these bags and bring them into our stores rather than use the provided plastic bags. This program has rolled out to all Sears full-line and hardware stores and all Kmart stores. Since each program's inception, we have sold over 35,600 reusable bags in Sears and over 30,000 in Kmart.

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