Walgreens goes green with nation’s first LEED-registered drug store

Deerfield, Ill. Walgreens on Wednesday opened the nation’s first drug store built to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification standards. The store is in Mira Mesa, Calif.

“Walgreens is making great progress on our environmental initiatives in stores chainwide,” said Walgreens market VP Matt Sesto. “We’re cutting our electricity and water usage, recycling tons of cardboard and shrink wrap each year and upgrading equipment for maximum efficiency.”

The new Walgreens offers reserved parking for hybrid vehicles, bike racks and is located close to public transportation. Other green features include skylights and solar tubes that allow the sun to light 75% of the interior, and the use of LEDs in coolers, freezers and exterior signs, reducing energy use by 50% over fluorescent lighting. The store will save enough electricity to power 19.3 homes per year.

In addition, the use of native and adaptive plant species will eliminate water usage for landscaping. Ninety-five percent of construction waste was diverted from landfills and recycled.

“Signage posted inside the store will inform customers about the features that make this location unique,” Sesto added. “We want people to feel good about shopping here and maybe even be inspired to live greener lives.”

As with other stores registered under the LEED Green Building Rating System, Walgreens will be reviewed by the program and given a specific level of certification in four to six months.

Walgreens plans to open its next LEED registered store in Chicago this fall, with two more locations to follow by the end of the year. The company’s efforts to reduce its carbon footprint also include the use of solar panel systems on 63 of its locations in California, Connecticut, New Jersey and Oregon.

More information on Walgreens’ environmental efforts can be found here.