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Best Buy’s Blue Shirts Go For The Green

Best Buy has spent the last year doubling down on its green efforts, aiming to ensure both its facilities and its consumers can be kinder to the planet.

The retailer announced last fall that it had joined more than 80 companies — including Apple, Dell, GE, HP, Intel, Microsoft, Sony, Target and Walmart — in signing the American Business Act Pledge on Climate Change. As part of the pledge, Best Buy said it will reduce its own carbon emissions by 45 percent by 2020 from operational reductions and renewable sourcing. It also pledged to provide energy-efficient products and solutions to help its customers minimize their own carbon footprints.

According to Laura Bishop, public affairs and sustainability VP, Best Buy helped consumers prevent 900 million pounds of carbon emissions through the Energy Star-certified products purchased its stores and online in 2014.

“While certainly an issue worldwide, the impact of climate change is felt close to home for all of us at Best Buy,” noted Bishop in a company statement. “It’s experienced in the communities where we live and work in the form of more droughts, storms and wildfires, and rising temperatures that affect human health. These climate changes, coupled with the fact that carbon reduction makes good business sense, are what brought us to the White House [in October].”

Said Bishop: “The extreme weather that results from climate change disrupts our store operations and supply chain. Last year alone, 670 Best Buy stores — more than half of our U.S. locations — experienced weather extremes that led to temporary closure and disrupted our employees’ and customers’ lives. In 2011, a devastating flood in Thailand significantly affected the global supply of hard drives.”

Best Buy will also work with industry partners to promote sustainable electronics through manufacture, transport, use and end-of-life solutions.

The company also announced earlier this month it will replace its iconic Geek Squad Volkwagen Beetles with Toyota Prius C hybrid cars. The move is expected to save on fuel costs and cut fleet emissions.

The new Geek Squad Prius (left) will replace the older VW Bugs.

The retailer’s greening efforts have not gone unnoticed and have landed it a spot on the CDP Climate “A List.”

Formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project, CDP is an international nonprofit with a global system for measuring, managing and sharing environmental information. Its “A List” recognizes companies “that are leading in their actions to reduce emissions and mitigate climate change in the past CDP reporting year.”

Best Buy took a seat in the Consumer Discretionary category of the 2015 list, along with LG and Sony, placing it in the top 5 percent of thousands of companies that submit annual emissions data and climate management strategies to CDP, the retailer said.

“We know that cutting carbon emissions is a win-win,” said Bishop. “It’s the right thing to do for the environment and for our business. Being named to the CDP Climate Change ‘A List’ is a tremendous honor and further confirms the value of our commitment to a low-carbon economy.”