Sears Canada achieved our commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from our retail operations by 20% below 2007 levels by 2013. We have expanded our target to cut our carbon footprint in half by 2020.
To reach this goal, we reduced electricity consumption by 29%. Those savings – almost 110,000 MWh per year – are like unplugging more than 9,000 homes from the grid.
We achieved these savings through energy efficiency and conservation initiatives in our stores, warehouses, offices and other facilities:
Sears has a long history of energy efficiency initiatives. We continually assess new lighting technology and run pilots in our facilities. Successful pilots are deployed across our network.
Even small changes can contribute to big energy savings: by upgrading 28-watt overhead lamps to ones that use just 3 watts less energy, we saved 10 million kWh annually. That’s enough electricity to power more than 800 homes.
Sears Canada completed the largest rollout of LED spotlights in Canada, replacing 116,000 of our incandescent spotlights, and saving 20 MWh annually. That’s enough electricity for 240,000 families to run high efficiency washing machines for a year. In addition, the retrofit reduces the need for air conditioning because LEDs emit less heat than incandescent lights. The new bulbs also last much longer - up to 10 years - so our maintenance staff will spend less time replacing burnt out bulbs.
Energy conservation is also a priority in all Sears National Logistics Centres. Our distribution centres are outfitted with energy efficient high bay lighting, motion sensors to create dark aisles, and LED dock lights. Lighting retrofits in our Vaughan and Montreal NLCs helped save more than 2,000 MWh per year, enough electricity to power 167 homes.
Management systems and associate engagement programs are in place to help facilitate energy conservation. Sears has a National Senior Energy Manager responsible for monitoring and reducing energy consumption across our facilities. Our Energy Manager oversees purchases of new building equipment across our portfolio to ensure that energy efficient standards are met. Facility Leads are provided with energy saving protocol which identifies best practices for energy conservation, such as keeping receiving doors closed.
Our logistics centres in Ontario, Alberta, Quebec and Saskatchewan were awarded ISO 14001 registration for their ongoing, voluntary efforts to reduce the environmental impact of their operations. Facility teams track energy consumption and encourage their associates to identify opportunities for improvement.
HVAC and Building Controls
Building automation systems (BAS) are in place in 95% of our buildings. BAS parameters are established to conserve energy while creating a comfortable environment for our associates and customers. Facility Leads and Regional Field Managers review BAS settings to ensure that they are operating as efficiently as possible. Regular review of our building performance helps us identify opportunities to save energy by adjusting lighting and HVAC schedules.
Other initiatives include:
Replacing or recommissioning older model chillers used to cool our buildings
Retrofitting HVAC equipment with variable frequency drives (VFDs) to save energy by allowing fans to cycle down when they’re not needed at full capacity
Installing motion sensors on vending machines to power down when the office is empty
A number of energy saving initiatives have been implemented at the Sears Data Centre. Through extensive server virtualization and consolidation, the energy load decreased by 135 kW over 3 years, while increasing computing power. These efficiencies reduced processing power consumption by more than 1.1 million kWh annually, saving enough electricity to power 100 homes a year. All IT assets are recycled once they reach end-of-life.