GREENHOUSE GAS INVENTORY ASSESSMENT
In 2012, we initiated our Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Inventory Program and set a goal to achieve a 20% reduction in our GHG emissions intensity by 2017. We’ve invested in measuring the GHG emissions generated from building electricity use, AEO product distribution, and employee travel. We are proud to have surpassed our goal in 2016, achieving a 29.7% decrease in GHG emissions intensity.
Our GHG Inventory boundary includes AEO offices, distribution centers, data centers, and retail stores residing primarily in North America. AEOs’ total GHG emissions are primarily Scope 2, which are defined as emissions from the consumption of purchased utilities (electricity and natural gas).
Energy Reduction Initiatives
Learning more about our carbon footprint from our GHG inventory tracking is helping us make informed decisions about how we can reduce our energy consumption. We’ve implemented a number of initiatives across our offices, distribution centers, and stores to improve efficiency and reduce our impact on the environment.
AEO Hazleton Distribution Center Goes Green
Our goal was to build a resource-efficient facility that would provide ongoing financial benefits as well as a healthier environment for all who work in the building. Our Hazleton Distribution Center qualified for Silver LEED certification by earning points in areas of design, construction materials, and recycling equipment selection that resulted in energy efficiencies and indoor environmental quality. We’ve received $700,000 in rebates as a result of our energy conservation efforts, which is about 20% annual savings on our electrical expenses.
New AEO Stores Get Smarter Energy Systems
Our new stores are being built with an Energy Management System (EMS) that allow us to make sure lights and heating/cooling systems are turned off when no one is in the store. It also allows us to identify and diagnose energy anomalies, such as a bad compressor or other equipment failure. With the new EMS, we are able to be more proactive in managing our energy use.
Energy Savings with LED Lights
Since 2014, we’ve changed the lighting in our stores to LED, resulting in savings of more than $577,000 and 3,050 tons of carbon dioxide. This is equivalent to removing 582 cars from the road. We also remodeled our corporate offices in Pittsburgh, including a shift to LED lighting, which reduced our energy usage by 40%.
Store Heating and Cooling Improvements
We’re trying out a patented CATALYST Efficiency Enhancing Controller on HVAC rooftop units in eight of our stores to reduce energy used for heating and cooling. We anticipate 20-50% energy savings in these stores. If results are in line with our expectations, we’ll roll this program out to other stores, beginning in high-heat regions.