Deerfield, IL — Using solar panels, wind turbines, geothermal technology, energy efficient building materials, LED lighting and high-efficiency refrigeration, Walgreen Co. is building a retail store in Evanston, IL, that will produce energy equal to or greater than what it consumes. Walgreens estimates this is the first net-zero energy building in the U.S.
“We are committed to reducing our carbon footprint and leading the retail industry in the use of green technology,” Walgreens Vice-President of Facilities Development says. “We are investing in developing a net-zero store so we can learn the best way to bring these features to our other stores. Because we operate 8,000 stores, we believe our pursuit of green technology can have a significant positive impact on the nation's environment.”
Walgreens reports it worked with the city of Evanston and various local vendors to plan the building, which will reduce its energy use by 40 percent and for which the company will also seek LEED Platinum status, the most stringent green designation under the U.S. Green Building Council. Walgreens says the store will be located in Evanston to allow convenient access for Walgreens engineers who are based at the company's nearby headquarters in Deerfield.
The building is part of Walgreens' commitment to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge to reduce chain-wide energy consumption 20 percent by 2020. Contractors have already begun drilling for geothermal energy on the site, where they are replacing an existing Walgreens store.