Total Macy’s, Inc. Solar Electricity Production on 04/25/2018

15,444 YTD

12,664 YTD

$1,708,106 YTD

28,108,068 YTD

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The Drive for Sustainability at Macy’s: Our Tangible Steps…and Counting

POSTED UNDER Our Accomplishments

A little less talk, a little more action. As much as we like our sustainability soapbox, we like producing real, tangible results even more. Macy’s announced a 5-Point Action Plan for Sustainability in 2008. Since then goals have been set and the results have been tracked on our various opportunities to reduce our carbon footprint. Here is a list of tangible steps taken as of March 2014. See what we’ve been able to accomplish … so far.

Reduce Energy Consumption

  • Companywide, Macy’s, Inc. has reduced its total energy consumption by 38 percent since 2002.
  • LED lighting systems, developed by leading manufacturers with Macy’s input and collaboration, have been installed in all 800 Macy’s stores. This included installing 1.1 million new LED accent lamps, which use 73 percent less energy compared with the conventional bulbs they replaced. In new stores and remodels, LED general lighting has been added.
  • The company works with local utilities to build and improve energy management systems in individual stores.
  • We systematically monitor and adjust internal temperatures to optimal levels so stores and offices are neither too cool nor too warm.
  • Macy’s has  installed a new Bloom Energy server in the company’s Cheshire, CT, fulfillment center. The unique on-site power generation system utilizes innovative solid oxide fuel cell technology with roots in the NASA Mars space program.
  • The current four-year remodeling project at Macy’s Herald Square flagship store in New York City includes an aggressive energy optimization component.
  • All new roofs on Macy’s stores and distribution centers are white to save energy.
  • Macy’s uses retro commission to reduce energy by 10-15 percent in individual locations by repairing and adjusting sensors, dampers, valves and cleaning coils.
  • Macy’s Systems & Technology developed a PC Power Management program to save energy by automatically lowering device power consumption when not in use for an extended period.

Renewable Energy Sources

  • Macy’s hosts solar energy systems on the roofs of 55 Macy’s, Inc. buildings, with more to come.
  • The rooftop solar power system on Macy’s online fulfillment center in Goodyear, AZ, is among the largest in the U.S., generating 3.5 megawatts of electricity. It offsets more than 3,500 tons of carbon dioxide each year, the equivalent of removing 18,204 cars from Arizona’s highways over the 30-year life of the system.
  • In early 2012, a new 1.1-megawatt solar power system was activated on the roof of the Macy’s distribution center in Raritan, NJ.
  • Additional solar projects are being actively pursued in New Jersey and other states.
  • The company’s largest online fulfillment center, in Martinsburg, WV, was built to accommodate a rooftop solar system in the future.  Scheduled to open in 2015, the Tulsa, OK, online fulfillment center will also have a solar-ready roof.
  • In 2013, Bloomingdale’s Fashion Valley Store in San Diego yielded the highest energy savings with a 10.7 percent reduction.

Reduce Paper Usage 

  • Companywide, Macy’s, Inc. has reduced its total paper usage by 17 percent since 2007.
  • We are using lighter-weight paper stock for direct mail pieces, which reduces paper tonnage.
  • We have developed initiatives to increase paperless credit card billing for our customers and associates, and have converted 26 million customers to reviewing their credit card statements online versus paper by mail.
  • Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s associates are encouraged to get their annual W-2 forms electronically rather than in a paper statement mailed to their homes.  In 2013, 43 percent of associates elected to electronically receive their W-2s, saving 50,000 paper forms.
  • Macy’s now provides digital receipts in all stores nationwide. When making a purchase, customers can choose to have a copy of their receipts emailed to them.
  • We have developed a paperless process which eliminates the printing and mailing of updated floor plans for over 800 Macy’s stores.
  • Macy’s stores have eliminated the use of tissue paper when folding apparel merchandise items on the sales floor.
  • Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s eliminated mailing envelopes for popular Friends & Family sale event coupons sent by associates.
  • We have changed the default font size used in emails to use less paper and toner when printed.
  • Macy’s Home Marketing creative department developed  a procedure for reducing print sizes of catalog mockups from 11”x17” to 8.5”x11.” This reduces the amount of paper used by half in creating, reviewing and approving catalogs.

Increase Use of Recycled/Certified Paper

  •  In 2013, 95 percent of all paper used by Macy’s in marketing materials (such as direct mail) was recycled or certified, up from 43 percent in 2009. This was one year earlier than our intended goal.
  • Macy’s Private Brands developed new hangtags for its merchandise using FSC-certified paper, with the FSC logo displayed on each tag.
  • Macy’s redesigned its paper shopping bags (the bright white ones with handles) to use paper content that is both recycled and 100 percent recyclable. Previously, it was neither. Macy’s used more than 75 million paper shopping bags in 2013.
  • Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s stores and online fulfillment centers use recyclable folding gift boxes and wrapping tissue made from 100 percent recycled materials. The company uses more than 32 million gift boxes and more than 300,000 sheets of tissue paper in 2013.
  • All major Macy’s, Inc. corporate publications – including the annual report, fact book and nationwide employee magazine – are printed using recycled and/or FSC-certified paper.

Increased Use of Sustainable Materials/Processes in Stores and Other Facilities

  •  Macy’s has tripled its use of sustainable building materials in major capital projects since 2009.
  • The company’s store design and construction group developed a strategic checklist of sustainable directives and best practices for use in every project.
  • A new store carpet program includes more selections with recycled content and embraces the use of sustainable carpet tiles.
  • Furniture specification programs have been re-evaluated to include sustainable alternatives.
  • We have introduced language in contracts to emphasize Macy’s sustainability goals, which has heightened awareness with our contractor and consultant partners.
  • Sustainable practices employed in designing and building the Martinsburg, WV, online fulfillment center included LED lighting, solar-ready roof, white roof, low-flow water fixtures, water efficient landscaping, low VOC adhesives, occupancy sensor controls that turn off the lights when no one is in the room, marmoleum (alternative to linoleum), special controls, evaporator and coils installed to improve energy efficiency, and special parking for fuel efficient vehicles.
  • Sustainable practices used when designing and constructing the Bloomingdale’s store in Santa Monica, CA, included low-flow water fixtures, tankless water heaters, water-efficient drip irrigation for landscaping, polished concrete flooring, recycled content carpet, recycling 80 percent of the construction debris, low VOC paint, low VOC drywall, white reflective roof, daylighting, and energy efficient HVAC systems and LED lighting.
  • In building distribution and fulfillment centers, we use solar tubes technology to capture sunlight and project it into space during daylight hours. This enables associates to turn off artificial lights during the day. Productivity, morale and happiness increases when working in a sunlit environment.
  • We use water-efficient landscaping at our suburban stores and distribution centers.

Reduce Waste Stream By Using Less and Recycling More

  •  Companywide, Macy’s, Inc. recycled 79,842 tons of waste in 2013 versus 69,396 tons in 2012.
  • Through a program called Bag It Right, store associates are instructed to minimize the volume and size of bags used for customer purchases..
  • We have replaced clear plastic hangers with environmentally friendly matte black hangers for most apparel merchandise. The new black hanger can be manufactured using recycled plastic materials saving on the new petroleum-based resins used to make clear hangers. Macy’s uses more than 300 million hangers per year in its stores.
  • We piloted a program to recycle old carpeting removed in store remodel projects in lieu of landfill disposal.
  • Macy’s Credit & Customer Services is recycling rechargeable batteries, used cell phones and eyeglasses for its associates in five facilities.
  • Recycling Eco Centers also have been installed in Cincinnati Central Downtown and Kemper Offices and 77 stores in the Northeast Region.
  • In 2011, we recycled 124,000 pounds of zero-balance or out-of-date gift cards.
  • We have eliminated the use of bottled water for internal meetings in company offices.
  • Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s have replaced the foam peanuts once used in shipping products purchased by customers online. The new packing materials include inflated plastic area sheets and, in places, pieces of pure corn and potato starch that are 100 percent biodegradable.
  • Macy’s in-store restaurants nationwide eliminated all foam packaging (cups, bowls, plates and to-go containers). Foam has been replaced by paper or plastic containers that are made from renewable resources and/or are recyclable. The company used more than 2.7 million foam containers per year as recently as 2009. Today, it is zero.
  • Macy’s, Inc. has adopted composting with the first project in San Francisco at the Macy’s Union Square store, followed by composting Macy’s Flower Show remains in five cities, composting at the Bloomingdale’s 59th Street store, and also at the Cincinnati Central Offices Downtown and Kemper locations.
  • Macy’s developed a partnership with Oakleaf to recycle office paper at stores.
  • New equipment allows corrugated cardboard to be baled for recycling.
  • Reusable tote bags are available for purchase in Macy’s stores at a nominal cost, and customers are encouraged to use their reusable bags when making purchases.
  • Macy’s partners with Lamp Tracker to recycle fluorescent lamps and rechargeable batteries in all locations.
  • In 2012, plastic bag recycling was established in all Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s stores.
  • In 2012, we launched a recycling program at most Macy’s stores for white, mixed and confidential documents.

Reduce Waste in Transportation and Shipping

  •  Macy’s, Inc. has collaborated with suppliers to standardize carton sizes to save freight charges and reduce the carbon footprint.
  • Macy’s, Inc. increased the miles traveled by sustainable modes of transportation (rail, vendor to distribution center bypass, Empty Miles, Backhaul) by 35 percent  since 2011 compared with 2010. This saved 70 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions.

Associate Communications/Customer Education/Community Involvement

  • Macy’s Central Offices have set printers to default to duplex printing, further reducing paper consumption.
  • Macy’s, Inc. created an internal website called Green Living for our associates to interact with the company on sustainability-related topics at work and home.
  • Implemented an associate suggestion program – “Ask Chuck” – to gather ideas from throughout the organization. Hundreds of questions sent by associates have been answered, and a series of action steps have resulted from suggestions submitted through this vehicle.
  • Since 2007, Macy’s has used Turn Over a New Leaf as a customer-facing message to create more public awareness of sustainability on
  • The first-ever, companywide Earth Week event was held inside the Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s organization in spring 2012 to excite and educate associates and to stimulate action (enrolling for paperless billing statements, joining Recyclebank, signing up for electronic W-2 statements, etc.).
  • As part of Earth Week 2012, the Macy’s workforce in the Herald Square and 11 Penn Plaza buildings in New York City competed in a spirited challenge to see which group could increase its recycling activity. In the process, 2.2 tons of incremental waste found its way into recycling bins during one week.
  • Customer sustainability awareness posters are displayed in every Macy’s store.
  • National Park Foundation benefited from the Turn Over a New Leaf campaign with more than $5 million donated by Macy’s customers and the company in 2007 and 2008.
  • In spring 2012, millions of dollars in donations associated with the company’s Brasil promotion were  contributed to The Nature Conservancy’s work in the Brazilian rainforest.
  • Private Brands launched Race to Erase in its 11 Penn Plaza offices to create awareness among associates to shut down computers, turn off lights, print double-sided, save emails, print only needed pages and reduce printed reports.
  • Bloomingdale’s partnered with the Natural Resources Defense Council with events, special merchandise and loyalty rewards to raise funds and awareness in 2010.
  • In 2010, Bloomingdale’s SoHo store featured the reusable Little Brown Bag, and dressed a mannequin in recyclable brown paper.  In spring 2010, Bloomingdale’s SoHo opened a shop with fashions made from sustainable fabrics.
  • In November 2011, an internal campaign called “Macy’s & Bloomingdale’s Recycles” included activities such as a Green Fest with 370 associates participating, a contest to guess the value of 18.4 pounds of recyclable materials, bulletin board messages, electronic equipment recycling and rewards for recycling achievement.
  • In Cincinnati, an active Go Green employee resource group organizes group projects and stimulates interest in sustainability among corporate office associates.
  • Macy’s became a Recyclebank partner in 2011, providing customers across America special discounts when they increase their household recycling, reduce household energy and practice green lifestyles.
  • Macy’s has collected and implemented dozens of associate suggestions to reduce waste in day-to-day business operations.
  • Macy’s downtown Cincinnati office became a partner of Bike Friendly Workplace to promote associates riding their bikes to work. Bicycle racks were installed for associates’ bikes.
  • Partners in Time green volunteer projects have included cleaning up parks, phone book recycling and purchasing and planting trees.


  • The annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade uses only water-based paints for balloons and floats, as well as biodegradable confetti.
  • The Parade floats and balloons are recycled when they are retired to create new ones.
  • Macy’s uses equipment we helped design and a process to reclaim helium used in our balloons.
  • Macy’s collaborated with Ecotality to install self-service electric vehicle (EV) charging stations at six San Diego Macy’s stores (12 stations total) to offer the convenience to EV drivers and promote the reduction of fuel consumption and the transition to clean, renewable energy. Macy’s was the first department store to pilot the use of EV charging stations.