Kohl’s wants to be greener by 2025

Announces list of 12 sustainability goals

Kohl's Corp. headquarters in Menomonee Falls
Kohl's Corp. headquarters in Menomonee Falls.

Last updated on September 10th, 2019 at 12:15 pm

Kohl’s Corp. recently rolled out a number of new objectives aimed at becoming more green by 2025.

The Menomonee Falls-based retailer said it was the first time it has publicly announced its sustainability goals, which currently focus on energy use, waste and recycling practices and sustainable sourcing.

“We want to ensure the communities we serve that Kohl’s is a retailer of purpose, committed to making communities sustainably stronger long-term,” Steve Thomas, Kohl’s chief risk and compliance officer said in a statement sent to BizTimes Milwaukee. 

Kohl’s released a list of 12 objectives that, it said, it aims to achieve over the next five years. That list includes:

  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Kohl’s-owned operations by 50% from its 2014 baseline.
  • Diverting 85% of Kohl’s U.S. operational waste from landfills.
  • Label 100% of Kohl’s-owned branded packaging with the How2Recycle label.
  • Achieving 100% sustainably sourced cotton in Kohl’s proprietary brands.
  • Achieve 50% of products containing polyester to be made with recycled materials in Kohl’s proprietary brands.

The new objectives coincide with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. A complete list is available at Kohl’s website.

Thomas said the company’s previous sustainability goals, which focused on energy reduction and waste diversion, were created in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings initiative and the Environmental Protection Agency’s WasteWise program.

“Our newly established goals build off of the company’s existing sustainability efforts and are a powerful communicator of the businesses intent to seek solutions that encourage long-term sustainability,” Thomas said. 

Kohl’s plans for achieving its green goals were not fully identified, but Thomas said immediate efforts will include retrofitting stores with high-efficiency LED fixtures, upgrading HVAC systems and increasing in-store plastic and recycling programs. 

“At Kohl’s we are committed to being a responsible corporate citizen, making our communities stronger by supporting initiatives and organizations that focus on health and wellness, sustainability, and environmental efforts that benefit all families,” Michelle Gass, Kohl’s chief executive officer said in a statement. “We are proud to share our sustainability goals that support Kohl’s efforts to enhance our standing as a retailer of purpose.”

Kohl’s on Friday also announced Sona Chawla will step down as president in mid-October. The company said it has launched a comprehensive search for a chief operating officer, although it did not disclose plans to fill the soon-to-be-vacant president position.

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Maredithe has covered retail, restaurants, entertainment and tourism since 2018. Her duties as associate editor include copy editing, page proofing and managing work flow. Meyer earned a degree in journalism from Marquette University and still enjoys attending men’s basketball games to cheer on the Golden Eagles. Also in her free time, Meyer coaches high school field hockey and loves trying out new restaurants in Milwaukee.

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