April 1, 2013 – Walgreens today announced an expansion of its renewable energy initiative to Colorado with SolarCity. SolarCity will implement solar systems at 22 Walgreens stores across 14 different cities in Colorado in the coming months. The new solar systems cumulatively will reduce more than 47.5 million pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions over the next 20 years, which is comparable to planting 25,711 trees.*
"A strong commitment to the local community is one of our company's core values," said Menno Enters, director of Energy and Sustainability at Walgreens. "SolarCity is helping us contribute to the health of the local communities we operate in by providing us with clean energy as well as contributing to the local economy in Colorado."
Walgreens and SolarCity celebrated the completion of the first in a series of solar installations at the retail store on Smoky Hill Road in the City of Aurora. Honorable guests including Congressman Mike Coffman and City of Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan commemorated Walgreens' commitment to the environment with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at a gathering of Walgreens employees, patrons, Xcel Energy and SolarCity representatives. Walgreens is ranked as the second leading retailer in the U.S. in utilization of renewable energy at its stores, according to Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).
"Colorado has been at the forefront of energy conservation," said Congressman Mike Coffman. "And I'm happy to see that SolarCity and Walgreens have teamed up to help meet our state's renewable energy goals."
Walgreens began implementing solar in 2007 at many of its retail stores across the country. The new rollout in Colorado brings Walgreens closer to reaching the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Better Buildings Challenge. The company has committed to reducing its energy use by 20 percent by the year 2020 across 125 million sq. feet of its retail floor space.
"SolarCity is proud to support Walgreens' renewable energy goals that have made it one of the greenest retailers today," said Eric Wittenberg, SolarCity's regional vice president in Colorado. "The adoption of solar by companies like Walgreens also has an economic impact in the community as it drives the growth of local jobs. Since we launched our services in Colorado in 2009, our two local operations centers in Denver and Parker now employ more than 180 people."