Businesses are looking to reduce their energy use, both to boost the bottom line and to reduce their contribution to global warming. Eight Minnesota companies are part of the Environmental Protection Agency's Climate Leaders program, which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions voluntarily.
3M - Maplewood, Minn.
3M achieved its initial goal by reducing total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 60 percent from 2002 to 2007. The company says it has reduced global greenhouse gas emissions by 69 percent from its 1990 base year. In addition to becoming more efficient, 3M is turning to solventless technology to reduce the need for energy-intensive pollution control equipment.
Best Buy - Richfield, Minn.
Best Buy Co., Inc. pledges to reduce U.S. GHG emissions by 8 percent per square foot from 2005 to 2012. The company is working with retail managers to make sure lights are turned off at night, and has retrofitted lighting systems and updated its energy tracking system. Salespeople are instructed to tell customers how they can reduce their energy use.
Ecolab Inc. - St. Paul, Minn.
Sanitation supply company Ecolab Inc. pledges to reduce U.S. GHG emissions by 20 percent per dollar sales from 2006 to 2012. The company is planning to use more efficient vehicles, and has set up an efficiency program for its research and production facilities.
Hormel Foods Corp. - Austin, Minn.
Hormel Foods Corp. will announce its goal in January 2010. The company says the program will help drive its effort to reduce energy use and increase material efficiencies. It will also help prepare for developing regulations.
J.R. Watkins, Inc. - Winona, Minn.
J.R. Watkins, Inc., maker of natural personal and home care products, is working on its goal. The company operates in a historic building, and energy-efficiency efforts include lighting- and water-saving measures as well as changes on the production line.
Target - Minneapolis, Minn.
Target has been a member of Climate Leaders since the program started eight years ago, but is still working on setting its goal. In 2008, Target reduced its emissions from electricity by 1 percent by installing LED lighting, cutting back on lighting in stores, and installing solar panels on 21 stores.
John Roberts Co. - Minneapolis, Minn.
The John Roberts Co., a commercial printer, pledges to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 15 percent over the next five years, from baseline 2008. The company has installed occupancy sensors in offices, has adjusted building temperatures, will shut off all computers at the end of the day, and is looking into increasing the use of natural light.
Travelers Cos., Inc. - St. Paul, Minn.
Insurance giant Travelers Companies pledges to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 7 percent from 2006 to 2011. The company has also created some new products to respond to climate change, including a 10 percent discount for hybrid drivers.