Lord & Taylor, one of the nation’s oldest department stores, has joined the list of U.S. retailers going green in a big way. Next month it will debut at No. 17 on the U.S. Environment Protection Agency’s five-year-old Green Power Partnership list of Top 20 retailers embracing clean energy.
The 185-year-old retailer recently signed a two-year contract with Green Mountain Energy Co. under which the Austin, Texas-based company will provide Lord & Taylor with 100% of its electricity needs at two of its stores, including its flagship Manhattan store at 424 Fifth Ave. All told, the contract will provide 13 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of wind-generated power annually.
“Green Mountain applauds Lord & Taylor for demonstrating leadership in sustainable business practices through this purchase of green power,” said Scott Hart, president of commercial services for Green Mountain, in a statement. Mr. Hart said he hoped the purchase will help the retailer “send a message to its customers that it cares about the environment.”
Lord & Taylor says it’s been working with Green Mountain for some time. “We’re very excited that we are able to implement this cleaner energy and carbon offset solution now,” said Brendan Hoffman, CEO of Lord & Taylor. “We are thrilled to incorporate green power as part of our business practices.”
Other names on the Top 20 list, currently led by Menomonee Falls, Wis.-based Kohl’s Department Stores, include a number of companies with a strong presence across the five boroughs, such as Whole Foods Market (No. 2), Starbucks (No. 3) and Best Buy (No. 7). Walmart, which has been trying for some time now to make inroads in New York, ranks fifth on the current list.
According to the EPA’s website, the combined green power purchases of the retailers on the list amounts to about 4 billion kWh, enough to power more than 326,000 average American homes each year. Lord & Taylor’s purchase will avoid the release of more than 20 million pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) annually, according to Green Mountain, the equivalent of not taking 3.6 million cab rides.
Green Mountain’s biggest client is the Empire State Building in Manhattan.