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Kohl's Department Stores Releases First Corporate Sustainability Report

Annual report highlights Kohl's key environmental strategies, goals and progress

Submitted by: Kohl's Department Stores

Categories: Corporate Social Responsibility, Sustainability

Posted: May 24, 2011 – 09:00 AM EST


Kohl's Department Stores (NYSE: KSS) today released the company's first annual corporate sustainability report. As Kohl's continues to implement strategies that deliver on its mission of being a leading environmentally responsible retailer, this report outlines key strategies, important benchmarks and encourages ongoing progress and innovation across the company’s sustainability initiatives.

"Kohl's associates and suppliers have long made sustainability - particularly energy efficiency and waste reduction - part of their business practices," said Ken Bonning, Kohl's executive vice president of store planning and logistics. "Over the last several years, in the midst of the company's continued growth, we've worked to formalize these initiatives and set goals that will truly have a positive, long-term impact for our business and our communities. We know that sustainability is an ongoing, comprehensive process that requires commitment from associates and business partners, and this report is one of the ways we can share what we're doing and where we're going."

Kohl's corporate sustainability report, posted on, provides updates based on 2010 goals surrounding the company's five primary environmental strategies: energy efficiency, waste reduction, green building design and operation, emission reduction and stakeholder engagement. Highlights include:

  • Energy Efficiency: As of December 2010, nearly 600 Kohl's stores earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) ENERGY STAR® label - more than 50 percent of the company's stores - and 100 were solar powered. Energy use at all locations is closely monitored as Kohl's continually seeks opportunities to make its stores, distribution centers and offices more energy efficient.
  • Waste Reduction: In 2010, Kohl's recycled 77 percent of all waste generated, including cardboard and paper, plastics, wood, construction materials, metal and more. The company also works with suppliers and associates to reduce the amount of packaging used and increase the units shipped per carton, removing millions of cartons from the supply chain.
  • Green Building Design and Operation: By the end of 2010, 72 Kohl's stores and the company's Milwaukee, Wis.-based photo studio earned Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. To date, Kohl's has more than 140 LEED-certified locations including new buildings, existing buildings and tenant spaces. Since 2008, all newly constructed stores have been built according to a prototype that received LEED initial certification at the Silver level from the U.S. Green Building Council.
  • Emission Reduction - Net Zero: In December 2009, Kohl's announced a goal to reach and maintain net zero greenhouse gas emissions from 2010 to 2012. This goal was met in 2010 through programs that range from energy management to an industry leading green power purchase initiative. Kohl's currently ranks first in retail and second overall on EPA's quarterly rankings of top green power purchasers with more than 1.4 billion kWh purchased in the areas of wind, solar, biomass and small hydro - enough to green 100 percent of Kohl's purchased electricity use. Kohl's ranks 12th on EPA's quarterly rankings for on-site generation through its solar program, accounting for 15,689,000 kWh annually.
  • Emission Reduction - Transportation: In addition to using rail for more than 50 percent of inbound transportation, Kohl's also makes it a priority to ensure trucks carrying merchandise are full on trips both to and from distribution centers, executing more than 17,400 backhaul trips in 2010. Kohl's also encourages all carriers to be members of EPA's SmartWay Shipper program, which stresses fuel efficiency and carbon-reduction strategies.
  • Stakeholder Engagement: Kohl's sustainability initiatives continue to grow and evolve through close collaboration with stakeholders ranging from associates to suppliers. Associates show their support for the environment not only in the decisions they make every day, but also through more formal company initiatives such as on-site vegetable gardens at the corporate office, carpooling and Kohl's annual companywide National Go Green volunteer event. Among suppliers, Kohl's engages in ongoing conversations about the importance of sustainable operations, encouraging them to embrace a sustainability policy with long-term accountability. The company measures the sustainability practices of its 300 top suppliers quarterly and holds annual supplier roundtable discussions that provide education and resources in the realm of retail sustainability.

These and many other initiatives comprise Kohl's formal environmental program, part of the Kohl's Cares® philanthropic platform, committed to making communities happier, healthier, greener places to live and work. Through charitable giving and volunteer programs for kids' health and education and environmental initiatives, Kohl's supports local communities through programs which include: Kohl's Cares cause merchandise program, Kohl's Cares Associates in Action program, Kohl's Cares Scholarship program, Kohl's Cares Fundraising Gift Card program and Kohl's Cares Advancing Environmental Solutions. More information about these programs is available at

About Kohl's Department Stores
Based in Menomonee Falls, Wis., Kohl's (NYSE: KSS) is a family-focused, value-oriented specialty department store offering moderately priced, exclusive and national brand apparel, shoes, accessories, beauty and home products in an exciting shopping environment. With a commitment to environmental leadership, Kohl's operates 1,097 stores in 49 states. In support of the communities it serves, Kohl's has raised more than $180 million for children's initiatives nationwide through its Kohl's Cares® cause merchandise program, which operates under Kohl's Cares, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Kohl's Department Stores, Inc. For a list of store locations and information, or for the added convenience of shopping online, visit

For more information, please contact:

Phone: 262-703-1464
Phone: 262-703-7863

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Kohl's Department Stores


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