PRSM 2014 Trends Report - (Page 17)

HOW A GLOBAL RETAIL LEADER SAVES WATER The Home Depot's Ron Jarvis on how the little things add up to big savings TRENDING: SUSTAINABILITY Sustainability Practices of Top-Performing Companies Dimension Top Traits Benefits of sustainability programs Reduced costs, increased risk management, staying ahead of regulations, increased revenues, and increased profits Facility focus areas Reducing energy use, land use, impacts from construction and waste creation and promoting green-building design Stakeholder engagement programs Suppliers, NGOs, and community engagement Metrics being tracked internally Energy use, volume of materials used, plastic bag use, fuel use, waste generation, greenhouse gas emissions and supplier code of conduct compliance Facility Improvements Reducing waste generation, energy use, greenhouse gas emissions and land use and designing facilities according to green-building standards Programs to reduce waste generation Redesigning products and packaging and developing recycling programs, occasionally with backhauling capabilities Programs to reduce energy use Retrofitting lighting, HVAC and refrigeration systems to make them more efficient Employee programs Green teams, internal communication and volunteer projects Nonprofit and government engagement Partnerships for resources, expertise and credibility Investor communications Participation in surveys like the CDP and DJSI and development of a CSR report Supplier engagement Ethical sourcing programs and involvement in multi-stakeholder collaborations Every Drop Counts Ron Jarvis F or thousands of Americans, The Home Depot is the first place they go when their faucet won’t stop leaking, their garden needs sprucing up, or their kitchen is just aching for a remodel. A typical Home Depot store has a product for every home improvement problem and a customer service associate eager to explain how to use it. With convenience and customer service like this, it’s no wonder that The Home Depot is the global leader in home improvement retail and the fifth largest retailer in the world. With all these accomplishments under the mega-retailer’s belt, The Home Depot might relax, focusing its efforts solely on its bottom line. Instead, the company has chosen to be a leading retailer in environmental sustainability. And with nearly 2,000 North American stores with sprawling garden centers, fine-tuning its approach to water conservation is one of the best ways the company can promote sustainability. The Home Depot’s approach to water management begins with a clear understanding of how much water is being used at every store. Ron Jarvis, Vice President of Sustainability/SCR at The Home Depot, who leads the chain’s sustainability efforts, cautions executives and senior managers not to assume they know where the water in their operations is being used. Jarvis and his team learned this lesson themselves: “We had some stores with huge garden centers and we assumed that 90 percent of the water was going to the garden center, but we looked at them and discovered that for a couple of them, people were using water to clean off sidewalks, to clean off the floors, the back loading docks, and that’s where most of the water was being used. When we got away from that practice, we saved a ton of water.” Jarvis suggests that facility and maintenance departments “find out all the way Water reclamation tanks are currently installed in 81 Home Depot locations. Connected to the gutter and HVAC systems, the tanks supply water to the stores’ garden centers, saving the company about 500,000 gallons per store per year. I 2013 I 17

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PRSM 2014 Trends Report