Blog: Carbon footprint traced back to the office

Joe Ayling | 12 August 2010

Green business flows right through the apparel supply chain these days, often starting at the corporate HQ where no expense is being spared.

This week JC Penney is celebrating an award from the US Green Building Council (USGBC) for its campus in Plano, Texas, where soaring temperatures are the main concern - something we rarely encounter here in the UK.

The retailer's headquarters are powered using a window shade system that reduces solar heat gain by limiting the amount of direct sunlight allowed into the building. Meanwhile, a thermal ice storage system there offsets peak demands of electrical usage by making ice each night to cool the building the following day.

Some of the more unusual features of the office also include using used cooking oil from the cafeteria to make biodiesel to fuel maintenance vehicles, and providing reserved parking spaces for associates who participate in its rideshare programme.

Nature has not been set aside either, with the building's surrounding grounds described as being adorned with "native wildflowers, prairie grasses and drought-tolerant trees and shrubs".

The site also has a six acre lake to collecting stormwater runoffs, but falls short of doubling up as a company swimming pool.

Nevertheless, having moved to Texas in 1992 after 80 years in New York, JC Penney is certainly turning the temperature up on sustainability.


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