Both IKEA and Walgreens Strut Their Environmental Efforts

It's mid-June, and environmentalism must be in the air. New chains—IKEA and Walgreens (NYSE:WAG)—independently announced Wednesday (June 19) major upgrades to their environmental efforts. Global furniture chain IKEA said that it would increase the solar array that sits on the roof of its Denver-area store, making it "Colorado's largest rooftop array of any use," the chain said.

Meanwhile, the nation's largest drug store chain announced that it will build more than 200 new solar installations at Walgreens throughout California, Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York. That will bring the number of solar Walgreens to "more than 350, making the company the leading retailer in number of solar powered stores." (Other than perhaps IKEA, not sure there's a huge competition for that title.)

Said Walgreens: "The upcoming rollout will produce an estimated 13.5 million kilowatt hours annually, the equivalent of offsetting the CO2 emissions from the electricity use of more than 1,400 homes for one year. Included in the rollout is the Walgreens net-zero energy, LEED Platinum store in Evanston, Ill., which will feature more than 850 roof-top solar panels."

Oh, yeah, asks IKEA. Think you're the only one who can spout impressive-sounding green stats? IKEA's greenery: "The 83,700-square-foot solar addition will consist of a 623-kW system, built with 2,492 panels, and will produce 961,000 kWh of electricity annually for the store. Including the existing system, IKEA Centennial's total 1,121-kW solar installation of 4,704 panels soon will generate 1,701,000 kWh of clean electricity yearly, the equivalent of reducing 1,200 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2)."

What makes Walmart's effort so noteworthy is that the chain plans on turning these energy-efficiency efforts into profit centers, as it sells excess power back to local utilities. It's one thing to be environmentally efficient. It's another thing to make a lot of money doing it.

For more:
- See the Ikea statement
- See the Walgreens statement

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