28 February 2010

Store design can be beautiful and eco-friendly

Check out this blog post with clever ideas on using recycled materials in store interior design.

27 February 2010

Cash-for-clunkers programs to reward appliance shoppers in March

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 set aside $300 million to fund rebate programs encouraging consumers to upgrade their old appliances. Each state was given a slice of that pie to make its own program, and a number of states are rolling out these programs in March. For example, check out these stimulus-funded initiatives in Missouri, New York, Connecticut, Georgia, and Texas.

26 February 2010

Retailers recognized for green efforts

I've noticed a slew of recent articles discussing green trends and surveying green stores. Here are a few links.

From Triplepundit, Are Big Box Stores Advancing or Detracting Sustainability Efforts? Yes.: "Over the past five years, big box stores have recognized that mitigating their environmental impacts and those of the products they sell can be important marketing tools."

In the Seattle Times, 'Green' is the new black: "Even during the recession, shoppers have increasingly asked for more clothing, shoes and accessories made from sustainable and organic materials. Manufacturers and retailers are responding."

On MNN, 10 eco-friendly retailers: "Every greenie loves to hate Walmart. But the retail giant has been making huge strides in providing average people with eco-friendly options by filling its more than 8,000 retail stores worldwide with green living items like Energy Star appliances, non-toxic cookware and organic-certified groceries."

From Refinery29, Green Mile: Our Guide To Eco-Friendly Shopping In NYC: "From borough to borough, more and more businesses are taking extra steps to introduce green options."

23 February 2010

Office Depot to seek LEED certification for all new stores

The office supplies giant announced that it will pursue LEED certification for all new stores it opens, starting June 2010. The chain has been a leader in green retailing for some time now, joining the USGBC in 2007 and opening its first LEED-certified store in June 2008. With the success of that unit, the chain has decided to go green with all future stores.

Although the prototype store in Austin, Texas -- pictured here at its groundbreaking in the photo, courtesy Office Depot -- has achieved LEED Gold certification, the chain did not commit to that level for future stores, simply saying, "the company will pursue Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for Commercial Interiors (CI) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) for all new Office Depot retail stores."

Also noteworthy: The company cited "impressive energy and monetary savings" as part of its expectations for the planned green stores.

09 February 2010

Canadian big-box retailers to meet at eco-summit

Wal-Mart Canada has invited its competitors and other companies to a green business conclave to be held just before the Winter Olympics. Companies who have agreed to attend include Coca-Cola Canada, Colgate-Palmolive Canada, and McDonald's Canada, as well as rivals Canadian Tire and Home Depot Canada. Altogether, 300 executives from business, government, and non-profits will be there.

Here's what Wal-Mart Canada CEO David Cheesewright in a Vancouver Sun op-ed:
Wal-Mart Canada will host some of Canada's top business executives, non-profits and government leaders at the Wal-Mart Green Business Summit in Vancouver. There are two concepts driving the summit. The first is that by demonstrating the business case for more environmentally sustainable business practices, whether lower costs because of greater efficiencies or greater sales because of increased green product, we can show business that green should not be seen as a new set of restrictions: It is a world of opportunity. This will move business to change faster than any regulations can. The second concept is that collaboration is a must. The planet does not have time for all of us to work in silos, wasting time and money recreating more sustainable business practices. We must share green knowledge.

The event, timed to build on publicity from the winter games, seems to be equal parts marketing hoopla and serious summit. Check out the statement from Canadian Tire, as cited in the Environmental Leader:
Competitor Canadian Tire said it viewed its participation in the summit as a platform to discuss its “leadership position” in sustainability.

A little combative, sure. But if big companies are jockeying to be king of the green retail mountain, that's progress, right?