Every time you purchase anything, you are voting with your wallet. At the same time, each of the retailers you purchase from, votes with their revenues. Its important for any person working to live a greener life to pay attention to not just their own purchasing habits, but that of the retailers and manufacturers from which you purchase. The good news is that it is getting easier to learn more about the purchasing habits of corporations as they learn that consumers want to know more, and how that information affects consumer behavior.
Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released the latest list of green power purchasers in the nation. With a number of new additions to the list and an ever increasing number of kilowatts being produced from green power, the list is pretty impressive.
Nearing the top of the list is Kohls department store, ranking number three on the list of the National Top 50 list and number one on the list of the Top 20 Retailers list. Kohl’s is purchasing more than 600 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power annually, which is enough green power to meet 50 percent of the organization’s purchased electricity use. Kohl’s Department Stores’ commitment to green power helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions while also supporting the development of new renewable generation capacity nationwide.
Along with its announcement of corporate green energy purchasers, the EPA also announced the top green energy powered communities in America. Among the new additions to the list is Stoughton, Wisconsin (#19), Cordova, Alaska (#23), and Hood River, Oregon (#12). Leading municipalities across the nation are partnering with EPA to become Green Power Communities (GPCs). GPCs are cities, towns, and villages in which the local government, businesses, and residents collectively buy green power in amounts that meet or exceed EPA’s Green Power Community purchase requirements. If you are wondering how your community ranks, check out EPA’s list of Green Power Communities is available at http://www.epa.gov/greenpower/communities/index.htm.
Green power is generated from renewable resources such as solar, wind, geothermal, biogas, biomass and low-impact hydro. Green power sources produce electricity which produces no human-caused greenhouse gas emissions and are more environmentally sensitive than conventional energy production. Companies which participate in purchasing green power also help accelerate the development of new renewable energy capacity nationwide.
These corporations are not just spending more money to do their part to save the environment and increase the demand for clean energy, they are hoping that their good deeds pay off. Last weekend at the National Earth Day Festival on the National Mall, FedEx passed out bookmarks with wildflower seeds attached and information about their green power ranking. They aren’t the only ones trying to make hay out of their act of greenness. Many of the listed companies will advertise their ranking as one of the nation’s largest green power purchasers in an effort to get you to spend your next purchase with them, and not a competitor.
So the question is, does learning that a company purchases green power in some of the greatest quantities in the nation drive you to want to support them over their rival? Comment below and let us know how a list like this affects your purchasing habits.