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Sears might be struggling financially – even announcing plans in December to close at least 100 stores following a rocky holiday season – but its focus on being green is nowhere near faltering. In fact, this retailer’s unparalleled efforts to be ecologically friendly has garnered it the Environmental Protection Agency’s top honor, the Corporate Commitment Award.
Sears is the first company to get this award since 2005 and is only the fifth corporation to receive it. The company has gone above and beyond requirements to become energy efficient, teaching its associates about the value of being green and offering a plethora of appliances that feature the ENERGY STAR label. ENERGY STAR is a government-backed symbol of the energy efficiency of a product and can result in tax credits for consumers who purchase these types of goods.
In addition to manufacturing green appliances such as its Kenmore Elite clothes washing machines, Sears has produced new ENERGY STAR qualified Craftsman products and even participated in the electric vehicle charging station industry last year.
Sears further promotes the benefits of energy savings through shows such as “Get Your Green on” at Kenmore Live Studio in Chicago. Kmart, which merged with Sears in 2005, and Kenmore also have joined forces to support the ENERGY STAR program in 2012.
“One of our greatest priorities is to provide our shoppers with meaningful savings,” said Sears Holdings CEO Lou D’Ambrosio, who said the ENERGY STAR program essentially has become a part of the company’s DNA. “ENERGY STAR products/appliances in particular, offer financial benefits over a product’s lifetime.”
Kmart last year also received the ENERGY STAR Leaders recognition for surpassing an established 10 percent energy dip for its portfolio of buildings. Retrofitting lights in Kmart stores and using systems that effectively manage energy can be credited for this. In addition, Sears Holdings – the fourth largest broadline retailer in the United States – received the ENERGY STAR certification in 2011 for a whopping 151 buildings.
“We are very proud to be recognized for our commitment to being a leading retailer in this space,” D’Ambrosio said.