San Diego, CA- Walgreens celebrated the opening of the nations first green drug store yesterday not with an old-fashioned ribbon-cutting ceremony however with the planting of the native tree. “We felt that planting a tree was far more appropriate then cutting a ribbon and then throwing it away” said Jamie J. Meyers, The LEED AP Project architect who was there for the celebrations.
Walgreens, the nations largest pharmacy chain is once again changing the landscape for the American consumer, this time around for your greener. A store involved was made from your beginning round the dual mission of efficiency and sustainability. Not only will it be the initial pharmacy within the U.S. to meet the USGBCs stringent LEED design standards nevertheless the 24-hour store also sells a host of environmentally friendly products.
By exceeding LEED requirements and integrating eco-friendly product lines into their inventory they have got taken steps that cannot simply be attributed to the common corporate “greenwashing” With this particular project and future plans for a lot of more like it, Walgreens opening times has created a significant dedication to sustainability. Listed here are just some of the points they have got built into this store on the architectural side;
-Take for instance the landscaping- They used all native plants that will require no watering whatsoever once they have adjusted to transplanting. In San Diego that’s a fairly big deal as we are in the midst of a level two drought emergency. -They took great pains to minimize lighting energy waste through the use of 75% natural sunlight during daytime hours. It was achieved with setting up solar tubes and skylights that shine down through the ceiling. This along with LEDs inside their signs and coolers reduces lighting related energy use by 50%
They may be mitigating storm water pollution from the surrounding buildings by collecting and filtering water since it flows onto their lot. Water use is estimated at 50% below LEED standard levels. 75% of materials were architectural salvage through the previous structure that existed on the lot. A white roof was included to minimize cooling related energy use in addition to mitigate the urban heat island effect.
There are many other green details also, such as hybrid car parking spaces, a bike rack, as well as a site chosen partly for it’s close proximity to public transportation. While others such as Wal-Mart and Target are making token gestures to the green movement Walgreens really seems to get it. Nevertheless there is still room for additional improvement, the significant steps they have taken to “go green” far surpass the typical dog and pony demonstrate that passes for environmentalism nowadays in numerous companies.
Sooner or later the question was seriously posed- “Just how can we make ourselves better and sustainable?” And someone took the time to discover some awnsers. Yet here we discover the question that all modern companies is going to be faced with as energy prices soar and the public becomes more aware of their own effect on the planet. Whether it’s the item they produce, the service they provide, or the items that they sell companies large and small cannot escape the changes which are occurring inside our environment. Those who don’t reply to these changes will wind up like Walgreens competitors including Eckerd; just struggling to take care of the rest.
A record of Steady Progress – “Walgreens is making great progress on our environmental initiatives in shops chain-wide. Were cutting our electricity and water usage, recycling plenty of cardboard and shrink rgxtwu every year and upgrading equipment for max efficiency” Said Walgreens Market V . P . Matt Sesto
Walgreens has never been a classy/flashy company. Quite the exact opposite, they are a family run All-American company having a long history of steady progress. Oftentimes they are among the first to implement innovative strategies just like the switch to bar-code scanning technology, as well as the expansion into film development in the 1970’s. They also were the main thing on adapting a far more convenient, customer friendly format in a time when drugstores were rather limited in scope. Through each one of these changes nonetheless they have always kept true to their identity as, “Americas corner drugstore”.
Then when a company like Walgreens outlines a large ranging eco-friendly strategy it really means something when it comes to their future intentions. As mentioned by Jim Collins (Author of ‘Built to Last’ and ‘Good to Great’) in an article titled Best Beats First; “they (Walgreens) could be slow- after a crawl, walk, run, trajectory, however, when they run, they will likely run right over companies that believe being first is perhaps all that matters.” When Walgreens tells me they plan to build much more new green locations, as well as do additional environmentally friendly modifications to their 6,857 existing locations- In my opinion them. This store alone is saving enough energy to power 19 homes annually- imagine just what the combined effect will likely be!