JC Penney Company, an American retailer, has unveiled an environmental goal to reduce facility energy consumption 20% per gross square foot by 2015 through increasing energy efficiency improvements and driving a company culture that practices conservation.

The company said that over the past decade, it has invested more than $130m to improve the energy efficiency of its existing stores and logistics centers by installing advanced metering technology, building control systems, lighting retrofits and high-efficiency heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems.

In 2009, these combined efforts resulted in a year-over-year elimination of approximately 80 million pounds of greenhouse gas emissions by reducing energy use across comparable stores, the company claims.

JCPenney has taken an inclusive, ‘hands-on’ approach to addressing the company’s environmental impact. In 2004, it launched an associate awareness and engagement program, now referred to as EMPowered, which encourages and educates every associate to seek out new ways to save energy.

Through EMPowered, JCPenney stores designate an ‘Energy Captain’, who takes responsibility for monitoring energy usage levels, identifying opportunities for improvement and promoting energy-saving efforts throughout the facility. JCPenney logistics centers employ similar initiatives using associate-based ‘Green Teams’.

Complementing the company’s energy management strategy, JCPenney is aspiring over time to obtain 25% of its total operating power from renewable sources.