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Success Stories - Retailers

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The success stories provided on this website are for information purposes only and do not constitute or imply an endorsement or recommendation by EPA or the United States Government of any specific commercial products, processes, or services mentioned therein.

Kohl’s Department Store

Kohl’s Department Stores recognizes the importance of green procurement in reducing its environmental footprint. Kohl’s actively selects supplies, merchandise, and energy sources that utilize recycled content and environmentally friendly products, including a variety of recycled content office and advertising materials. Kohl’s purchases 600,990,000 kWh in renewable energy credits, half of its current energy use. Kohl’s has also constructed 78 solar power systems around the country and is on track to become the largest single host of solar electricity production in North America, offsetting more than 28 million pounds of CO2 in the first year.

Better World Books

Better World Books collects and sells books online to fund literacy initiatives worldwide. Better World Books’ success at reducing waste is due, in part, to its Reuse First program, which finds users for books that are often seen as of no value to traditional bookstores. In 2008, the company was able to facilitate the recovery and recycling of 5,255 tons of books and other paper materials. Through its online store, Better World Books also earned nearly $22.5 million selling used books that would have otherwise been sent to the landfill. Additionally, the sale of paper materials on the commodity market generated more than $132,000 in revenue for 2008.

Limited Brands, Inc.

Limited Brands, Inc., a WasteWise partner since 2004, is a large specialty retailer that sells women’s intimate apparel, beauty and personal care products, and accessories through the trade names Victoria’s Secret, Pink, Bath & Body Works, C.O. Bigelow, La Senza, White Barn Candle Co., and Henri Bendel. In 2007, Limited Brands diverted from landfills more than 83 percent of all waste materials processed through its Columbus, OH, distribution centers, recycling 65 percent and reusing almost 19 percent. The company’s distribution centers have partnerships with nonprofits to donate their materials, with 10 tons donated in 2007.

The company increased its use of recycled-content paper and Forest Stewardship Council-certified paper in its catalogs, marketing materials, and annual reports. In addition, Limited Brands reduced the number of printed copies of its annual reports by delivering the majority electronically. In 2007, the company’s recycling and reuse efforts prevented more than 15,200 tons from going to the landfills. This avoided more than $1.7 million in landfill disposal costs and increased overall revenue by $12.3 million from increased recycling efforts.

Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority

According to the American Hotel & Lodging Association, the average hotel generates up to 30 pounds of waste per room each day. For Las Vegas’ 1,000-room hotels filled with visitors 365 days a year, comprehensive waste prevention and recycling programs can have a large impact on reducing the waste that goes to landfills and simultaneously mitigate GHG emissions. Through its partnership with a local waste management company, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) is working to increase the recycling rate for cardboard, paper, plastic, and other materials.

The LVCVA recycles materials collected from exhibit halls and meeting rooms, as well as motor oil, antifreeze, paint thinner, and tires. As a result, the organization has achieved a 50 percent recycling rate for all of its events. For example, at a recent 130,000-person event, the LVCVA was able to recycle 14 tons of cardboard, 22 tons of carpeting, 24 tons of plastic, ten tons of paper, seven tons of metal, and five tons of wood. Other initiatives include buying recycled-content paper products and offering opportunities for electronic communication to reduce paper use.

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