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The Home Depot

  • Feb, 05 2010
  • Industry Sector:Retail


In 2004, The Home Depot Canada (THDC) developed and implemented a comprehensive business strategy on environment. In order to create a credible plan to merchandize green products and solutions, THDC designed a rigorous verification process that supports innovative, in-store events to drive traffic and sales of Eco Options qualified products. The resulting strategy created the platform to credibly launch our Eco Options brand in 2005. The ongoing product identification, verification and merchandising events have increased sales of our Eco Options “green” products.


The Home Depot has implemented a comprehensive plan related to sourcing and merchandising green products within our stores. Merchants are encouraged to implement criteria and use established and credible third party certification processes to identify innovative products that provide demonstrable environmental benefits. THDC wanted to ensure our customers in store are able to easiliy find products with demonstrable environmental attributes.

Prior to qualifying as an Eco Option product, vendors must provide evidence that the product is green. THDC recognizes nine environmental certification programs: Energy Star, Scientific Certification Systems, Terrachoice EcoLogo, Forest Stewardship Council, GreenGaurd, WaterSense, OMRI and Green Seal. Approximately 80% of Eco Options products are certified by one of these trusted certification bodies. The remaining 20% undergo a rigorous environmental claims validation process called the Product Verification Process (PVP), co-managed by environmental consultants Summerhill, and the University of Waterloo.

In addition to the product verification process, new and innovative green products are identified and assessed on an ongoing basis for the Eco Options program. We’ve also integrated green products into our Business Life Cycle (BLC) process to ensure that during the line review process we continually look for green product choices to augment our existing assortment. The identification of innovative green products and the efficient integration of the process into our BLC have helped THDC to meet the challenge of establishing and maintaining a green product leadership position in the home improvement industry.

In tandem with identifying and verifying green products, THDC pioneered in-store events designed to drive traffic and sales while generating a positive impact on the environment. For example, each spring our Mow Down Pollution program encourages customers to bring in their old higher polluting gas-powered lawn mowers in exchange for cleaner choices such as push reel and rechargeable electric varieties. In addition to Mow Down Pollution, we implemented the now popular SLED program that runs each November allowing consumers to exchange their old, inefficient incandescent holiday light strings for discounts on new energy efficient LED light strings. This past summer we launched our Go Low Flow program, giving consumers rebates on lowflow and dual-flush toilets. In one weekend we managed to change out over 28,000 toilets – saving Canadians half a billion litres of water.

These three programs are among a number of programs THDC participates in that give consumers rebates on products such as ENERGY STAR CFLs, timers, power bars with timers, weather stripping and more; these items all help consumers save energy and money. Each of these programs also incorporates an education component, delivered through in-store representatives who teach participating consumers how they can save more energy at home. It is through these programs that we have been able to leverage our Eco Options branded products to bring increased traffic and sales to our stores.


Since 2005, the Eco Options program has grown from 25 vendors with 500 approved products to over 130 vendors offering more than 1700 environmentally preferred products in 85 product categories. The program has been so successful in Canada that it was introduced in the United States in 2007.

Program results have been equally as impressive. Mow Down Pollution has successfully recycled over 34,000 gas-powered lawn mowers, preventing the emission of over 1,100 tonnes of green house gas and smog-forming emissions. Through the SLED program, more than 270,000 incandescent holiday light strings have been recycled and the use of close to 3.8 million kWh of electricity has been eliminated, preventing the release of over 1,000 tonnes of green house gases. In this past year alone, the Go Low Flow program resulted in over 28,000 dual-flush and low-flow toilets sold, saving over half a billion litres of water, enough to fill 223 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

The Eco Options program is extremely popular with THDC’s vendors because it opens up a number of in-store, online and inflyer marketing opportunities. Through the Eco Options program, THDC is rewarding vendors that have developed leading green products.

The Eco Options program has allowed THDC to make it easier for consumers to find environmentally preferred products. It has also given THDC another channel through which it has been able to drive store traffic and increase sales. These strengths, along with the wide variety in the Eco Options product assortment, have combined to make THDC the green product leader in the home improvement industry.


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