Innovative and Sustainable
Walgreens has the first retail drugstore in the country to feature a geothermal energy system. The store is located in Oak Park, Ill., and uses the constant temperature of the earth to help heat and cool its interior. Since the system went live last October, it has reduced the store's expected energy usage by 50 percent.
Carbon emissions were reduced by 21,000 pounds in the first six months of operation.
"This is the most innovative and sustainable Walgreens yet, and we're proud to showcase our commitment to the environment here in Oak Park," said Walgreens vice president of facilities development Tom Connolly. "We are always looking for new and creative ways to reduce our carbon footprint. After long considering the use of geothermal, we are now among the first retailers to make it a reality."
Walgreens worked with Evanston, Ill.-based Indie Energy to design and install the geothermal system.
An informational kiosk at the store shows customers its energy usage and savings from the system in real-time. The store also features a number of green elements:
- A dimming system that adjusts as more natural sunlight is able to brighten the sales floor.
- Polished concrete floors made from recycled materials that eliminate use of vinyl flooring and save on maintenance.
- LED lights are used throughout the store in coolers and in overhead accent lighting.
- Lavatory sinks are made entirely from recycled materials and hand dryers are powered by the lavatory's lights.
The store also features a Level 2 electric vehicle charging station, which can add up to 25 miles of range per hour of charge. Working with 350Green, Walgreens plans to install charging stations at about 30 additional Chicago-area stores by the end of 2011.