Over the past year, we invested in exploratory drilling to test the feasibility of a wide- area geothermal well installation at our distribution facility in Virginia. If confirmed, these wells would have significantly reduced the CO2 currently generated by fossil fuel consumption associated with winter heating. Such wells could also cool the facility – an important point for a warehouse located in the hot, humid climate of Virginia.
Unfortunately, after the initial test drilling was completed, we were advised by our consulting engineers that the efficiencies that could be realized were not significant enough or long-lasting enough to proceed with an installation.
Making the heating and cooling of our facilities more sustainable is a fairly complex issue that we continue to explore. But it demonstrates how we take an honest, open, and systematic approach to exploring all possible ways to improve sustainability across the company. Sometimes such explorations yield exciting results, as in the lighting retrofit example under the electricity section. At other times, the data doesn’t support making the changes we hoped to make, so we continue to explore the possibilities and seek alternatives.