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Walgreens details environmental efforts

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens affirmed its commitment to environmental sustainability, innovative technology and renewable energy initiatives during Earth Week 2012. Currently, the drugstore chain has 134 solar panel installations at its stores, distribution centers and corporate headquarters.

In addition, the company utilizes an energy management system that monitors electricity, water, lighting, refrigeration temperatures, heating and cooling and waste management at more than 3,000 stores to help reduce energy usage and maintenance costs while extending equipment life.

Walgreens is the nation’s largest retail host of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations and has plans to offer this service at 800 locations.

“Sustainability is not only smart for our communities and planet but makes good business sense, said Walgreens director of energy and sustainability Menno Enters. “The feedback we are receiving from customers and team members about all of our sustainability initiatives has been very positive, and we will continue to find ways to lead in this space.”

Walgreens is among dozens of companies–and the only drugstore chain–to participate in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge. As part of the challenge, Walgreens is committed to reducing its energy usage by 20% across all of its stores and facilities by 2020.

In 2010, the company became the nation’s first drugstore chain to install a geothermal energy system at one of its stores in Oak Park, Ill. The company’s Mira Mesa, Calif., location also became the first drugstore to receive LEED gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.

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