Wednesday, 12 December 2007


Christmas Brings Out the Green in Everyone

The Christmas season is here, in all of its red and green retail brilliance. But, there's some other retail green that's getting lots of cheer as well--environmentally friendly green, that is. If you haven't noticed, retailers going green is all the rage. Everybody is doing it and feeling good about it, which we love!

From green design to green products, the eco-friendly retail market is buzzing. With companies like L.L. Bean, J.C. Penney and Fresh & Easy supermarkets implementing the latest green technologies into building design, it was only a matter of time before a top 10 list was released for the greenest retail companies. New York-based Juice Energy Inc., an electricity supplier specializing in renewable energy sources, released its list mid-November. Check to see if some of your favorites made the list (I know mine did!). And so, with no further ado, I present to you the 10 greenest retailers (and some interesting facts about them, too):

Patagonia - It's Common Threads recycling program (using recycled fleece no less!) has turned heads, including the retailer's commitment to purchase electricity from renewable resources-- doing so before it was even hip in 1998.

Kohl's - Second-largest buyer of green power--WOW! In addition, installing rooftop solar energy panels for its California stores.

Whole Foods Market - Buys green power to match all electricity usage.

prAna - One ups Whole Foods by purchasing green power equal to all electricity usage for all stores that sell its products, company headquarters and the homes of its full-time employees. Impressive!

REI - Purchases green power for annual electricity use, and builds green stores.

UPS - Cut 28.5 million miles of driving by making routes more efficient. Also operates biggest alternative fuel truck fleet.

Timberland - Uses recycled cardboard and soy ink for boxes and green tags all products with greenhouse gas emissions ratings.

Nike - Plans to be carbon neutral by 2011 (buys offset credits) and is currently redesigning products to be more eco-friendly.

Wal-Mart - Largest buyer of organic cotton products. Plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent no later than 2015.

Target - Donated 7 million pounds of food in 2006 and has four stores using solar electricity, with 14 more to jump on board as well.

These major retailers are making their mark on the environment, their public image and for their employees and customers. Even Barneys joined in the fun for the holidays (as the Diva reported), with their "Give Good Green" holiday marketing campaign (catchy, eh?) featuring "Have a Green Holiday" eco-displays, as well as the opportunity for consumers to reduce their carbon footprint with green gifts.

So, did we miss anyone? Probably. But that's a good thing--when you have so many green retailers that you can't possibly mention them all.

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