Walgreens, the U.S. retail pharmacy chain, announced earlier this month that it will be instituting a net-zero policy at a proposed store in Evanston, Illinois. The construction project, which is expected to be completed sometime this year, will replace an existing Walgreens that does not feature any energy-efficient technology.
According to a press release, the company has been developing the project for the past year and a half. During that time, Walgreens officials focused on building community support by conducting a dialog with local green companies.
The new Walgreens location, when completed, will feature a variety of renewable energy sources that will help the store keep utility costs and fossil fuel usage to a bare minimum. It will feature more than 800 solar panels in a rooftop array, a pair of wind turbines and a geothermal heat-harvesting system to generate electricity. Additionally, the parking lot will utilize "daylight harvesting" ports to promote natural luminescence, while LED lighting sources will be used in the parking lot for evening business. The building itself will be constructed out of recycled and eco-friendly materials.
Thomas Connolly, the head of Walgreens' facilities division, called the initiative a big step forward for the chain of consumer pharmacies.
"We are committed to reducing our carbon footprint and leading the retail industry in use of green technology," Connolly said. "We are investing in developing a net-zero store so we can learn the best way to bring these features to our other stores. Because we operate 8,000 stores, we believe our pursuit of green technology can have a significant positive impact on the nation's environment."
This development highlights a growing movement among American companies, which are trying to lower costs and improve energy efficiency. Stay with the LifeIsGreen.com blog for more updates on this and other green living success stories.