Our Commitment to Sustainability
How we continue to grow a greener company
Protecting the environment and inspiring our members to do the same is important to us at Sears Holdings. It is through key partnerships with our many stakeholders that we are able to strive for operational excellence as a company, build a team of engaged and passionate associates, and deliver a "wow" experience to each member by understanding their needs and offering them the right products and services that fit their lives.
For more than 100 years, Sears and Kmart have been integral members of the communities in which they operate. We are happy to issue our 2014 Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability Report, which shares our efforts as an organization continuously working towards social and environmental stewardship. We recognize our responsibility to the communities we serve and believe that great value can be driven by the responsible management of our environmental, social and economic resources. While we are pleased to present to you our accomplishments for 2014, we are equally as excited to look to the future and identify opportunities for success and value for our multiple stakeholders.
The following represents a few of our 2014 highlights:
2014 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year — Sustained Excellence Award:
Sears Holdings was recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency with the ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year Sustained Excellence Award in both retail and energy management categories. This marked our fifth year of consecutive recognition in retail, and our third year of consecutive recognition for energy management. Our longstanding efforts exemplify an ongoing commitment to leverage our integrated retail capabilities for maximum energy efficiency in the marketplace.
Sears Holdings makes energy management a focus to drive operational excellence. By continually monitoring our facilities' energy usage and trends, we continue to have success in reducing our energy consumption. In 2014, we reduced electricity usage by more than 300 million kilowatt-hours, an 11 percent savings over the previous year.
In an effort to promote environmental sustainability and conservation, Sears Holdings recycles a variety of materials used throughout our operations. We continue to develop our waste diversion efforts to promote operational excellence in our facilities and stores. We recognize the importance of these efforts and work to continually improve upon our processes to decrease operational costs and reduce environmental impacts. In 2014, we recycled approximately:
- 125,000 tons of corrugated cardboard
- 1,500 tons of mixed plastic
- 3,100 tons of metal
Responsible Appliance Disposal program:
As the nation's top home appliance retailer, Sears Holdings is committed to protecting the ozone layer, keeping our communities clean and saving energy through the responsible recycling of household appliances. Sears became the first broad line retailer to join the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Responsible Appliance Disposal (RAD) program in 2007, and we have proudly continued this partnership for the last eight years.
Through the RAD partnership, Sears Holdings hauls away and responsibly discards our members' old refrigerators, freezers, AC units and dehumidifiers when they purchase new, energy-efficient products. This means SHC recovers and properly disposes the ozone-depleting chemicals from the discarded appliances, reducing CO2 emissions and other greenhouse gases. In 2014, as a RAD partner, SHC processed and responsibly disposed of more than 366,000 refrigerators, freezers, AC units and dehumidifiers, which has helped prevent the equivalent of greenhouse gas emissions from more than 150,000 cars in one year.
Paper & Packaging:
Our packaging and procurement teams are responsible for our packaging solutions and paper purchasing activities, respectively. These teams frequently partner with our corporate sustainability team to incorporate environmental considerations into their work. In 2014, we reduced our paper and packaging footprints in the following ways:
- Reduced the need for an estimated 31 tons of glue through our redesigned, glue-less shoe box construction
- Increased the recycled content in our Canyon River Blues brand hang tags and labels from 30 percent to 100 percent
- Increased the recycled content in our Outdoor Life brand hang tags and labels from 30 percent to 80 percent
- Redesigned our Sears Universal Care Label to 100 percent recycled polyester
- Replaced paper signs with digital displays in the Home Appliance section of more than 300 Sears stores
In 2014, more than 5.3 million ENERGY STAR certified products were sold through Sears and Kmart. This resulted in more than 600 million kilowatt-hours of electricity saved and more than $100 million in electricity cost savings for our members.
Responsible Supply Chain:
In 2014, our Global Sourcing team initiated a pilot survey to better understand the environmental impacts of our top 20 direct sourced apparel vendors, representing more than 130 fabric mills, dye houses and printing houses.
Over the years, we have developed and implemented several policies to support our sustainability efforts, including an environmental policy, paper procurement policy and PVC policy. In 2014, we reviewed these policies and updated them as necessary. To view them in their entirety, please click on the links below:
Affiliations & Key Partnerships: