Walgreens famed the opening of the places first green drug store yesterday not with a conventional ribbon-cutting ceremony though with the planting of the native tree. “We felt that planting a tree was a lot more suitable then cutting a ribbon and then throwing it away” said Jamie J. Meyers, The LEED AP Project architect who has been there for the celebrations.
Walgreens, the nations largest drug store chain is once again changing the landscape for your American consumer, now for the greener. A store under consideration was created through the ground up across the dual mission of efficiency and sustainability. Not only will it be the initial pharmacy within the U.S. to satisfy the USGBCs stringent LEED design standards but the 24-hour store also sells a host of eco friendly products.
By exceeding LEED requirements and integrating eco-friendly product lines within their inventory they have taken steps that cannot simply be associated with the normal corporate “greenwashing” With this particular project and future plans for a lot of more like it, walgreens hq makes a severe commitment to sustainability. Here are just a few of the things they have got built into this store on the architectural side;
-Take for example the landscaping- They used all native plants that will require no watering whatsoever after they have adjusted to transplanting. Within San Diego, Ca that’s quite a big deal as we are in the middle of a level two drought emergency…
-They took great pains to lessen lighting energy waste by utilizing 75% natural sunlight during daytime hours. It was achieved with the installation of solar tubes and skylights that shine down from your ceiling. This combined with LEDs in their signs and coolers reduces lighting related energy use by 50%
-They are mitigating storm water pollution through the surrounding buildings by collecting and filtering water as 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 lessen cooling related energy use as well as to mitigate the urban heat island effect.
-There are numerous other green details as well, such as hybrid auto parking spaces, a bike rack, and a site chosen partly for it’s close proximity to public transit.
While other companies including Wal-Mart and Target have made token gestures for the green movement walgreens home office really seems to obtain it. Nevertheless there is still room for further improvement, the significant steps they have got delivered to “go green” far surpass the standard dog and pony show that passes for environmentalism nowadays in lots of companies.
At some point the question was seriously posed- “How can we make ourselves more efficient and sustainable?” And someone spent the time to locate some awnsers. Yet here we find the question that every modern companies will be faced with as energy prices soar and the public grows more aware of their very own effect on the planet. Whether it’s the product they produce, the service they offer, or perhaps the products which they offer companies large and small cannot escape the alterations which are occurring within our environment. Those who don’t react to these changes will find yourself like Walgreens competitors including Eckerd; just struggling to keep up with the pack.
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 wrap each year and upgrading equipment for optimum efficiency” Said Walgreens Market V . P . Matt Sesto
Walgreens has never been a fashionable/flashy company. Quite the contrary, they are children run All-American company with a long history of steady progress. Most of the time they have been among the first to implement innovative strategies like the change to bar-code scanning technology, and also the expansion into film development in the 1970’s. They also were the main thing on adapting a more convenient, customer friendly format in a time when drugstores were rather limited in scope. Through all these changes however gsajve have always kept true for their identity as, “Americas corner drugstore”.
Then when a company like walgreens number outlines a large ranging eco friendly strategy it means something when it comes to their future intentions. As stated by Jim Collins (Author of ‘Built to Last’ and ‘Good to Great’) in an article titled Best Beats First;
“they (Walgreens) may be slow- following a crawl, walk, run, trajectory, however when they run, they will likely run right over businesses that believe being first is perhaps all that matters.”