With increasingly efficient store prototypes, our facilities are constructed with energy- and water-saving features. Our new-store construction incorporates many Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) guidelines and includes energy-efficient fluorescent lighting and HVAC units that meet or exceed ENERGY STAR® qualifications.
Several store improvements in recent years have helped significantly reduce utility expenses and our carbon footprint. Lowe's began installing white membrane cool roofs in 2002 as part of our new prototype store. The cool roofs reduce air-conditioning energy usage and lessen greenhouse gas emissions. Recently, we also completed lighting upgrades to operate more efficiently and maintain a safe and comfortable working and shopping environment. We completed an 812-store project in 2009 that replaced metal-halide, high-intensity discharge lamps with more efficient T8 fluorescent fixtures.
Building an awareness of the importance of operating efficiently is just as critical as building efficient stores. Lowe's strives to maintain consistent standards across all of our stores in North America to minimize our environmental impact and deliver savings.
Each of our 234,000 employees plays a role in our ability to operate our facilities as efficiently as possible. Our store employees have been making a bigger difference since 2008, when our facility team implemented an efficiency program called Lowe's Energy Awareness Delivers Savings (LEADS). The program provides guidelines to control consumption in areas such as interior lighting, HVAC, irrigation and domestic water systems. Lowe's also introduced a new position in our stores in late 2009 to help monitor that consumption. Lowe's facility service associates perform a number of duties, including collecting products for recycling and helping Lowe's better manage energy and water use in our stores.