Home Depot Announces Eco-Labeling Program

Atalanta, USA – After years as environmental groups’ poster child for irresponsible retailing, Home Depot today announced a new program to highlight environmentally friendly products on its shelves.

Home Depot has labeled more than 2,500 Eco Options products already, including all-natural insect repellents, compact fluorescent lightbulbs, cellulose insulation, front-load washing machines, and certified sustainable forestry products. By 2009, Home Depot expects the Eco Options label to grow to 6,000 products.

Ron Jarvis, Home Depot’s V.P. of environmental innovation, told the New York Times that a test-run of Eco Options-labeled products in Canadian stores starting in 2004 showed that there is significant customer demand for eco-friendly products.

“Given the option of a product that performs just as well, we are seeing the consumer would rather buy something that has less of an impact on the environment,” Jarvis said, adding, “We are just making that easier.”

As part of the Eco Options launch, Home Depot plans to give away 1 million compact fluorescent lightbulbs at its stores on Earth Day, April 22. The company estimates that replacing 1 million incandescent bulbs with CFLs will result in savings of $12 million in annual energy costs and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by at least 147 million pounds.

Home Depot also is working to reduce its own impact on the environment. To save energy in its stores, the company has begun the process of replacing the incandescent bulbs in its lighting department displays with CFL bulbs. The bulb replacement is under way at 200 stores and will be expanded to others throughout the year.

Home Depot has also signed an agreement with The Conservation Fund to offset all carbon emissions created by the company’s Atlanta headquarters and a portion of emissions created by associates commuting to work there and traveling on business. As part of the Conservation Fund’s Go Zero program, Home Depot will also fund the planting of thousands of trees across metropolitan Atlanta.

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