Home Depot Environmental Sustainability Audit

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Home Depot Environmental Sustainability Audit

The Home Depot is a company built under the principle of creating value for their stockholders while never forgetting the company’s main values: “Taking care of our people, giving back, doing the right thing, creating shareholder value, respect for all people, entrepreneurial spirit, building strong relationships, and excellent customer service”. These values were presented by Francis S. Blake (The Home Depot C.E.O.) on the company’s 2007 annual report. Mr. Blake presented The Home Depot as a “values based business” using what he called “The Values Wheel”. He used this concept in order to present the company’s business responsibility approach as a full cycle, starting at one point and coming back to the area where they started. While keeping their employees perspective open and alert for changes and improvement throughout the process. He can be seen as a great example of what Father Byron mention on page 214 a “principled person with the principled vision” guiding others “into a more ethical future”.

Environmental sustainability has become a hot topic in the last couple of decades because of global warming and other weather related changes. In today’s business world, environmental sustainability is an essential part of corporate social responsibility (CSR); therefore, very important to stockholders, owners, as well as to the public in general. Everybody wants to know how businesses are run and how their operations affect their communities for generations to come. The Home Depot as a corporation is continuously seeking to fulfill all levels of CSR by the following basic fundamentals as their guide: be profitable, comply with all government laws and regulations, established themselves as a corporation with high ethical values, and discretionary levels within the company’s core values. They also pursue to keep the organization’s operations responsible and in balance with local community needs.

The Home Depot Environmental Sustainability Approach
The company’s environmental sustainability approach can be found ingrained in every single area of their business (Business mission, future plans, and government structure), as well as in their day by day operations. These include but are not limited to: store construction and maintenance of their facilities, energy consumption, suppliers’ product selection, and customer education programs. All these environmental sustainability approaches are a true reflection of the company’s commitment to a more efficient and environmental friendly business operation. The Home Depot stated in their 2007 annual report that they “budgeted approximately $50 million for energy efficiency related projects”. They attacked environmental problems by replacing about 200 heating ventilation air conditioning (HVAC) units in more than 200 stores. They also changed their existing lighting system in approximately 600 of their facilities and counting. With these simple changes the company estimates a savings of approximately $20 million in energy cost alone, and believe this financial goal can be achieve in only 2 years. Moreover, they have implemented more rigorous operational standards, establishing energy efficient practices in their stores worldwide. These include HVAC unit temperature regulation and adherence to strict lighting schedules, which combined are the largest sources of energy consumption in their facilities. In addition to these organizational actions the company is implementing a new innovating energy management/alarm system. This system monitors the store energy use and efficiency, reports areas of high consumption, and assists store managers in this field. By adopting these three changes, The Home Depot is eliminating about “907 million pounds of greenhouse gas emissions” (an equivalent of removing 75,000 cars from the road). Thus minimizing potential environmental damage produced by the...
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