ATLANTA, April 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The Home Depot(R), the world's largest home improvement retailer, today expanded its long-term commitment to the environment and sustainability by launching its Eco Options(SM) program in the United States. Eco Options is a classification that allows customers to easily identify products that have less of an impact on the environment and empowers them to help make a difference in their own homes. (Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20030502/HOMEDEPOTLOGO ) The Home Depot has identified more than 2,500 Eco Options products, including all-natural insect repellents, cellulose insulation, front-load washing machines, organic plant food and vegetables in biodegradable pots. The wide array of Eco Options also includes compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs, programmable thermostats and certified wood. As The Home Depot works with vendors and independent experts, the Eco Options line will be continuously expanded to include scores of innovative products that reduce the impact on the environment. As part of its Eco Options launch, The Home Depot will give away 1 million CFL bulbs at its stores on Earth Day, April 22, and will launch an interactive Web site dedicated to the program. The CFL bulb has become an icon of energy efficiency, and 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. As the market leader in CFL sales, The Home Depot sold more than 50 million CFL bulbs in 2006. "For more than a decade, The Home Depot has been a proponent of environmental sustainability. From our wood purchasing policy to having our first store certified as green by the U.S. Green Building Council, we are committed to helping improve the environment and lessen our impact on it," said Frank Blake, chairman and CEO of The Home Depot. "Eco Options is the next step in expanding our commitment and making sure we help our customers who want to make a difference themselves." "As the world's largest home improvement retailer, The Home Depot can provide the widest variety of environmentally friendly products at the best value to more people," said Ron Jarvis, vice president of Environmental Innovation at The Home Depot. "The Home Depot is in the unique position to offer 1 billion customers more options to improve their environment than perhaps any other retailer," Jarvis said. "The introduction of Eco Options is further testament to The Home Depot's commitment to sustainability and to help its customers choose ways to have less of an impact on the environment." Products with the Eco Options label are either eco friendly by definition, such as solar lights that use natural power, or have met certain environmental performance criteria verified by Scientific Certification Systems, an independent standards development and certification company. Eco Options products fall into one of five categories: clean air, water conservation, energy efficiency, healthy home and sustainable forestry. The first Eco Options displays are rolling out now in The Home Depot stores across the country. The launch will capitalize on the growing trend of consumers embracing environmentalism and seeking ways to protect the environment. The Company also is working to reduce its own impact on the environment. To save energy in its stores, The Home Depot 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 The Home Depot stores and will be expanded to others throughout the year. Also, The Home Depot has 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. The Home Depot will fund the planting of thousands of trees across metro Atlanta as part of The Conservation Fund's Go Zero program. The Home Depot's commitment to the environment is being fortified by The Home Depot Foundation, a leading organization dedicated to creating healthy, livable communities by supporting the development of affordable, healthy homes for working families and by planting trees in parks, in schoolyards and along city streets. The Foundation is committed to investing $100 million during the next decade in organizations to support the building of 100,000 affordable, environmentally responsible homes and the planting of 3 million trees in urban areas. During its first five years, the Foundation has invested millions of dollars in communities across the country. These funds have helped families of modest means live in homes that they can afford to own and maintain in the long term, and that provide safe, healthy environments, conserve energy, water and other natural resources, use durable materials and offer access to transportation and safe recreational areas. Additionally, grants given by The Home Depot Foundation have helped plant and preserve trees to help cities deal with air and water pollution, urban heat islands, stormwater runoff and erosion. In 2006 alone, the Foundation supported the development of 9,000 affordable homes built responsibly, and the planting and preservation of 300,000 community trees. The Home Depot's environmental effort began in 1990 and has been marked by several milestones. In 1991, The Home Depot published its first environmental principles, which were adopted by the National Retail Hardware Association and Home Center Institute. That same year, the Company began using recycled content materials for store and office supplies, advertising, signs and shopping bags. Another milestone occurred in 1999, when The Home Depot issued its first Wood Purchasing Policy. The policy is centered in the Company's pledge to give preference to wood from forests managed in a responsible way and to eliminate wood purchases from endangered regions of the world. The Wood Purchasing Policy also calls for promoting and supporting the development and use of alternative environmental products, and encourages the Company's vendors and its suppliers of wood and wood products to maintain compliance with laws and regulations pertaining to their operations and the products they manufacture. In 1996, The Home Depot received the President's Council for Sustainable Development Award with Scientific Certification Systems and Collins Pine. In March, The Home Depot was named 2007 ENERGY STAR(R) Retail Partner of the Year for the second consecutive year. About The Home Depot The Home Depot is the world's largest home improvement specialty retailer, with 2,167 retail stores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, 10 Canadian provinces, Mexico and China. Through its HD Supply(SM) businesses, The Home Depot is also one of the largest diversified wholesale distributors in the United States, with nearly 1,000 locations in the United States and Canada offering products and services for building, improving and maintaining homes, businesses and municipal infrastructures. In fiscal 2006, The Home Depot had sales of $90.8 billion and earnings of $5.8 billion. The Company employs approximately 364,000 associates. The Home Depot's stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: HD) and is included in the Dow Jones industrial average and Standard & Poor's 500 index. HDG For more information, visit www.homedepot.com/ecooptions. For more information about The Home Depot Foundation, visit www.homedepotfoundation.org.
SOURCE The Home Depot