Electricity and fuels used to operate our stores generate the majority of the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that we can control directly. Our global approach to reducing our impact and increasing our efficiency includes a balanced and opportunistic portfolio of emissions reduction activities highlighting energy efficiency and renewable energy. We are pleased to report that we saved an estimated $24 million in energy expenses between 2011 and 2017 as a result of our programs. As we have said for several years, our environmental sustainability efforts truly benefit both our business and the environment! We are currently focused on:
1Includes 2017 scope 1 (direct) and scope 2 (indirect) GHG emissions.
We have regional Energy Management teams across our global operations that are responsible for managing our energy consumption and costs, analyzing and improving current operational performance, and testing, prioritizing, and implementing energy efficiency technologies and products. To facilitate the sharing of best practices across our global regions, our Energy Management teams share information throughout the year and collaborate on regional approaches. These teams support the energy data collection efforts for over 4,000 stores as part of our global, corporate GHG inventory. They also help align reduction strategies to our global, corporate GHG emissions reduction target of a 30% reduction of GHG emissions per million dollars of revenue by 2020 against a 2010 baseline year.
Over the past five years, our Energy Management teams have implemented emissions reduction projects that have helped reduce our global carbon footprint by over 62,500 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e) and saved the Company an estimated $19 million. In 2017, our energy-saving initiatives reduced our CO2e emissions by about 19,500 metric tons, an increase of over 10% from 2016.
Renewable energy is an increasingly important part of our environmental sustainability strategy and our approach to reducing GHG emissions from electricity consumption. For TJX, onsite renewable electricity generation opportunities are limited as we typically do not build or own our stores. Additionally, as a global company, we operate in many different energy and renewables markets, so opportunities for using renewable energy vary greatly from country to country and even within regions. For these reasons, we have regional strategies to support our efforts, and subject matter experts review opportunities, deal structures, and procurement strategies that are currently available in their local marketplaces. They continue to evaluate alternative energy solutions and purchasing opportunities for our facilities, taking into account the economic and operational feasibility of projects.
In 2017, we purchased more than 195 million kilowatt-hours of renewable energy in total, sourced from a variety of technologies. This represents a significant increase in renewable energy consumption compared to 2016. In the U.S. and Canada, our approach to renewable energy includes installing solar panels on select buildings, contracting with utilities for renewables, and purchasing renewable energy credits from national new renewable facilities. Our renewable energy projects and purchases in 2017 enabled us to reduce our Scope 2 market-based GHG inventory by nearly 58,500 metric tons of CO2e, which is estimated to have reduced our aggregate emissions for our 2017 market-based GHG inventory by almost 7.5%.
In the U.S., specific efforts include solar panels installed on the roofs of select stores in New Jersey, Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, and California and distribution centers in Arizona, Connecticut, and Nevada. We have also designed the roofs on our new distribution centers to accommodate solar panels and have evaluated the potential for solar panel installations at distribution centers and home offices. We believe these efforts position us well to expand our solar projects where it makes sense for the business in the future. In 2017, we were proud to go live with two new solar panel installations on our Arizona distribution centers, including the largest solar panel installation in TJX history.
In Canada, in 2017, we purchased renewable energy credits enabling the reduction of close to 75% of our electricity-related emissions and, for the first time, we have purchased carbon offsets that enabled us to completely offset the emissions associated with our scope 3 business travel in Canada. For 80% of our offset purchase, we chose a VCS-certified project known as the Darkwoods Forest Carbon Project, located in southeastern British Columbia, which provides multiple conservation benefits, including protecting over 250,000 acres of forest and ensuring that natural habitats for wildlife are not disrupted.
In Europe, our processing centers in Germany and Poland have incorporated both solar and geothermal technologies.
In the U.S., members of our Energy Management team work with our Store Design teams, Distribution Center teams, vendors, and many others to review opportunities to increase our energy efficiency for new and existing facilities. For our large and diverse real estate portfolio nationwide, we analyze store energy data, surveys, and feedback to identify energy consumption outliers and then work to deploy the appropriate solutions for purposes of improving the operations of our buildings, increasing people’s comfort, and saving energy. Our U.S. Energy Management team works with the goal of reducing energy and emissions in these key ways:
Additionally, our Energy Management team works with our Environmental Sustainability team to monitor our GHG emissions inventory and progress against our reduction target and is a key partner in developing the strategies and plans for our next generation goals. In 2017, our lighting and HVAC efficiency initiatives, along with our renewable energy purchases, reduced our GHG emissions by over 52,000 metric tons of CO2e.
In Canada, we have an Energy Optimization group, which is comprised of representatives from Store Design and Construction, Maintenance, Finance, and Environmental Sustainability. The team takes a similar approach as its U.S. counterpart, capturing and analyzing electric and gas usage data to identify ways to conserve energy in our stores. The team focuses on:
In 2017, we continued to support renewable energy through the purchase of renewable energy credits from Canadian wind farms and implemented new technologies, like LED lighting in over 40 stores, saving an estimated 430 metric tons of CO2e as a result.
In Europe, our Energy and Environment Committee is responsible for setting regional environmental sustainability goals, approving implementation strategies, reviewing program progress, and assessing the viability of future opportunities. It is comprised of senior individuals from across the business, including Store Operations, Property, Distribution, Facilities, Finance, Store Design, Procurement, and Corporate Responsibility as well as external expert consultants. At the operations level, we also have an Environmental and Energy Management Committee, comprised of internal Associates and an external energy management specialist, which has developed a comprehensive, multi-year plan with the goal of improving our energy performance.
TJX Europe initiatives include:
In 2017, the European team completed LED lighting retrofits and remodel projects that resulted in lowered energy consumption overall across our U.K. real estate portfolio. We are proud to report that these efforts resulted in a 7% reduction in our energy intensity (kilowatt hours per square foot) in this country and helped to reduce our GHG emissions by about 5,200 metric tons of CO2. We are equally excited to share that Europe has set its own emissions reduction goal of 15% metric tons CO2e per million British pounds by 2020 against a 2017 baseline.