Reducing Environmental Impact
The Home Depot’s greatest environmental impact comes from the products we sell, and our biggest opportunity to create change is by helping customers live more sustainably. We work with suppliers to encourage the production of greener products, which we, in turn, offer to our customers.
The Home Depot’s Eco Options® program helps our customers identify household and garden products that have less of an impact on the environment. It also encourages our suppliers to provide more sustainable offerings. For a product to receive Eco Options classification, the supplier must document attributes that prove it has less of an impact on the environment than comparable products in the same category.
Our Eco Actions® program provides our customers with resources they need to take individual action on environmental issues. Projects cover everything from how to compost to tips for saving water and what to consider if you’d like to switch to solar energy.
+CHECK IT OUT: Our Chemical Strategy, first published in 2017, is an important part of our commitment to offer greener products.
The Home Depot encourages suppliers to make the products we sell more energy efficient, and our partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star® program supports those efforts, too. In 2020, we exceeded our stated multi-year goal to help our customers save $2.8 billion on utility bills through the purchase and proper use of energy-efficient products. Energy Star-labeled products were key to that progress. In 2020, we offered over 23,000 energy-saving products in stores and online, including more than 8,000 Energy Star products. We sold more than 159 million units of Energy Star products, which we estimate helped save over $1 billion on energy costs and lower carbon emissions by over 5 million metric tons.
We work with our suppliers to offer products that help our customers conserve water, saving them money and protecting our planet’s resources. In 2020, we exceeded our stated multi-year goal to help customers save 250 billion gallons of water through the purchase and proper use of our water-efficient products. In stores and online, we offered nearly 10,000 water-saving products, including more than 4,000 products bearing the EPA’s WaterSense® label. We sold more than 20 million units of WaterSense products in 2020. We estimate our customers’ purchases and proper use of WaterSense products in 2020 helped reduce annual water consumption by over 60 billion gallons, which would mean collective savings of more than $726 million on water bills.
+DID YOU KNOW: All showerheads sold in our U.S. stores have a maximum flow of 1.8 gallons per minute, which exceeds the WaterSense standard.
Solar energy is the most abundant energy resource on earth, and, after solar panel installation, it has zero environmental impact. By partnering with our residential solar system supplier Sunrun, The Home Depot makes it easier for our customers to generate clean energy at home. In 2020, our solar program installation gave our customers the capacity to produce nearly 34,000 kilowatts of solar energy. Since 2016, our solar partners have installed systems that generated more than 330,000 kilowatts of clean energy for our customers.
We support reusing, repairing, refurbishing and recycling to fuel a circular economy that keeps products and packaging from becoming waste. We encourage suppliers to innovate in how they produce and package products for reuse and longevity. We also look for circularity opportunities within Home Depot operations.
+CHECK IT OUT: Discover how circularity factors into the ways we’re reducing our company’s impact on the planet and enabling our customers do the same.
Along with our suppliers and vendors, we are developing our thinking and capabilities around circularity in an effort to:
Design with the environment in mind
Eliminate excess materials
Eliminate materials that are not readily reusable or recyclable
Minimize mixed materials to make disassembly and recycling simpler
Use materials that are biodegradable or readily recyclable
Use recycled content when possible without compromising product efficacy
Enable the indefinite reuse of materials
Encourage manufacturers and consumers to minimize their environmental impact
+DID YOU KNOW: Our customers dropped off over 1.2 million pounds of rechargeable batteries with us for recycling in 2020 — a 32% increase since 2014.
Our packaging innovations reduce waste, increase shipping efficiency and decrease product damage. We work with our private-label product suppliers to apply science to creating better packages. From 2017 through 2020, we redesigned 366 packages to reduce size and materials. That helped us avoid sending over 3,800 cargo containers to sea.
We continue to look for substitutes for expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) film in our private-label packaging. Both EPS and PVC are difficult to recycle and can take a long time to biodegrade. We’ve committed to eliminating EPS and PVC from our private-label packages by the end of 2023. We’re scouting out even small amounts and replacing EPS and PVC with easier-to-recycle materials like molded pulp and paper.
+CHECK IT OUT: An infographic explainer on redesigned ceiling fan packages shows our innovative approach to eliminating EPS and PVC.