Our Current Stories on Sustaining the Environment

Resource Conservation

Using Our Energy Wisely

Using Our Energy Wisely

With more than 200 stores across the country, we can use a great deal of energy, which takes a toll on both our operating expenses and the environment. Because of this, energy conservation has always been important at Nordstrom; it makes good sense for the environment and for our bottom line.

Green building and environmental stewardship are top of mind for many companies today. At Nordstrom, we've been monitoring and installing new technologies to reduce energy usage with a focus on lighting, heating and cooling systems. In 2010, we saw a 1.6 percent reduction in our annual energy usage per square foot. This progress comes from a commitment to reducing energy usage without compromising our ability to serve our customers as effectively as possible.

"We look to reduce energy everywhere we use it. No savings is too small."
- Bill McQueen,
Nordstrom Facilities
and Energy

Every kilowatt counts
To reduce our overall consumption, we look for energy savings opportunities large and small. "Generally speaking, we look to reduce energy everywhere we use it. No savings is too small," said Bill McQueen, national director of facilities and energy at Nordstrom. "For instance, about six years ago, we disabled the cooling function in all our public drinking fountains."

We also added no-touch hand dryers in the restrooms in our stores. These appliances, which are energy efficient and improve the overall customer experience, have also saved an enormous amount of paper each year.

On a larger scale, we are in the midst of a multi-year conversion of spotlight technology in our stores and have made a significant financial investment in this area. The quality of light from this new technology is superior to what it is replacing. For example, by the end of 2010, we were using 30.7 million fewer kilowatt hours per year than we were using before the conversion. By the end of 2012, when the conversion will be complete at all of our stores, we will be using 48.9 million fewer kilowatt hours per year. By way of comparison, that's enough energy to power approximately 4,527 homes in the U.S. for one year.*

Additionally, all of our processing facilities have made excellent progress in reducing energy consumption through lighting technology. For example, at our Fulfillment Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, we are reducing energy costs through a combination of new occupancy sensors and enhanced lighting fixtures. Importantly, these savings come as we have nearly doubled the size of the facility.

Innovation and technology
We have also invested in cutting-edge technology to further reduce our environmental footprint. When we opened our Ala Moana store in Honolulu, Hawaii in 2008, we installed an air conditioning system that cools the store during daytime hours by utilizing stored ice, without running the mechanical cooling element (shown below). "For a unique situation such as Hawaii, where energy costs are some of the highest in the world, it's helped to significantly reduce our energy costs, and it's better for the environment," said Bill.

*Calculation in kilowatt hours (kwh) based on the Environmental Protection Agency's average kWh use per household in kWh.

Using Our Energy Wisely

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