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Best Buy to Build Only LEED Certified Stores

Best Buy

It looks like Best Buy is upping its green cred with the recent announcement that starting in early- to mid-2008, all future Best Buy stores will be built to LEED standards.  In all honesty, the retail sector has been kind of slow to adopt programs such as LEED.  But this is starting to change.  Best Buy has the in-house architect and senior facilities manager working on getting LEED accredited right now.  Additionally, the company plans to get its eco-prototype store certified by the end of the year.  The eco-prototype will have energy-efficient lighting, rainwater recycling, recycled content building materials, a high-efficiency HVAC system, and some sort of day lighting system.

Best Buy's greening will go beyond the new stores also.  Before the end of the fiscal year, it plans to increase its use of reusable containers by 30 percent; retrofit 20 percent of its 650+ stores with dimmable, zonable ceramic metal halide lights; and recycle 75,000 tons of cardboard, 1,800 tons of plastic, 15,000 tons of consumer electronics, and 27,500 tons of appliances.  Via MBJ


I appreciate what Best Buy is doing, but don't big box retail chains help fuel suburban sprawl and its associated environmental impact, no matter how green their stores are? UK columnist George Monbiot goes so far as to propose complete elimination of all non-urban retail shopping and converting retail stores like Best Buy into distribution centers and warehouses. (

Stephen, you have some excellent points, of which, the same were mentioned at Treehugger and Core77 today.

Ladies and Gentleman, this is greenwashing at its finest and a a pure manipulation of the intention with which the LEED standards were established. Yes, efficient HVAC and recycled materials is a great step in the right direction, but lets not forget the amount of blacktop they will pave their surface parking lot with, the trees they will probably knock down in the process, and the absurd size of a best buy store. Of course you need energy efficient A/C, your probably cooling around 75,000 square feet of space. Whats next, LEED certified super walmart?


I think you can look at it that way, but I think LEED certification is better than nothing. Because doing nothing is certainly an alternative. I mean, you attack them based on sprawl, but that's a huge problem you can't expect one retailer to fix. Every argument you make against them can be flipped into a positive.

The size of Best buy? Well, instead of going to multiple places looking for what you want, you can go to them.

Green walmarts? I hate to say this, but Wal-mart already has green stores in Texas. They're using solar and testing out new technology. Let's look at Best Buy's commitment as a positive step in the right direction.

Great post!

If the economics don't work, recycling efforts won't either.
As our little contribution to make this economics of recycling more appealing, blogs about people and companies that make money selling recycled or reused items, provide green services or help us reduce our dependency on non renewable resources.

And what will Best Buy do with the old stores they abandon to build new bigger better stores across the street as they do in my area? That's more enviro damage there to rebuild good enough stores.

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