Building Greener Stores

We're always looking for ways to improve the environmental performance of our stores.

Designing, building and operating our stores in ways that reduce our impact on the planet. We're incorporating everything from responsible building materials and furnishings to energy- and water-efficient measures into our store designs.

To guide our efforts, we’re using the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED® certification program as a benchmark for success. (LEED® is short for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.)

Our Goal

We’re excited about our ambitious goal to achieve LEED® certification globally for all new, company-owned stores in 2011.

What We've Been Doing

Since 2001, we've helped lead the work with other retailers and the USGBC (US Green Building Council) to create a system to certify retail stores and store prototypes. This volume-certification process will pre-certify our green stores at the design, construction and operational strategy level. We'll then be held accountable through spot checks and continued review to ensure we are meeting the high standards we’ve set for ourselves. This is a huge opportunity for the USGBC and for retailers. Traditionally, LEED® certification has been accomplished one building at a time, making it difficult for retailers with hundreds of stores to participate.



Our ongoing efforts to green our stores include a mix of design elements:



  • Conserving energy by allowing air-conditioned stores to reach 75°F instead of 72°F on warm days

  • Saving water by using high-blast nozzles to clean pitchers instead of running water

  • Installing low-flow valves throughout the store

  • Installing cabinetry made from 90% post-industrial material (where available), with no added formaldehyde

  • Improving lighting efficiency

  • Using recycled flooring tiles

  • Using wood products that are Forest Stewardship Council–certified (where available)

  • Using paints with lower amounts of volatile organic chemicals

Green Building