Home Depot's big roofs and shrinking footprint
DIY homeowners who look to make their own properties more sustainable with things such as caulking, insulation and low-E windows might well purchase their materials at Home Depot. While there, they might also notice the green features that increasingly define the global retailer's own stores.
I interviewed the chain's director of construction in 2013 for an article in American Builders Quarterly, where I learned about how the company is testing concepts in water catchment (from all those big box roofs) and energy efficiency. For example, some stores in California, Florida and the Virgin Islands now funnel rainfall into 500,000-gallon tanks that then is used in their garden centers. Equally impressive, even if less visual in nature, is how Home Depot is using information technology and supply-chain management techniques to reduce its overall carbon footprint.