Citizens’ Greener Evanston welcomes landmark Walgreens store

The+nation%27s+first+net-zero+energy+Walgreens%2C+which+will+produce+more+energy+than+it+consumes%2C+will+open+Nov.+21+in+Evanston.+The+building+will+include+green+technology+such+as+wind+turbines+and+more+than+800+solar+panels.
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Citizens’ Greener Evanston welcomes landmark Walgreens store

The nation's first net-zero energy Walgreens, which will produce more energy than it consumes, will open Nov. 21 in Evanston. The building will include green technology such as wind turbines and more than 800 solar panels.

The nation's first net-zero energy Walgreens, which will produce more energy than it consumes, will open Nov. 21 in Evanston. The building will include green technology such as wind turbines and more than 800 solar panels.

Source: Business Wire

The nation's first net-zero energy Walgreens, which will produce more energy than it consumes, will open Nov. 21 in Evanston. The building will include green technology such as wind turbines and more than 800 solar panels.

Source: Business Wire

Source: Business Wire

The nation's first net-zero energy Walgreens, which will produce more energy than it consumes, will open Nov. 21 in Evanston. The building will include green technology such as wind turbines and more than 800 solar panels.

Tyler Pager, Reporter

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Citizens’ Greener Evanston on Thursday night hosted a welcoming party for Walgreens’ first net-zero energy location, explaining to residents the process of building the landmark store.

About 40 residents gathered at the Firehouse Grill, 750 Chicago Ave., for a presentation from Walgreens’ manager of sustainability Jamie Meyers. The store, which is 90 percent finished with construction and slated to open Nov. 21, will produce energy equal to or greater than what it uses, and executives hope it will receive the highest level of LEED certification.

Meyers said Evanston’s commitment to sustainability was among the many reasons the city was chosen for the store’s location,  635 Chicago Ave.

“Evanston is very progressive, and we knew they would accept this project,” he said.

The company is based in Deerfield, Ill., less than a half hour away from Evanston.

Meyers said Walgreens was able to secure a building permit in only a week, a process that usually takes months.

The event was part of Citizens’ Greener Evanston’s monthly series on sustainability called Green Drinks.

“I was really happy with the turnout and the engagement of the crowd,” said event organizer Kelsey Atkinson. “As part of our mission statement, we are trying to reduce our carbon footprint, and Walgreens is helping us with that.”

Evanston resident Kristin TePas said she attended the event because she was curious about what technologies Walgreens was using.

“I was amazed by how many different technologies they’re trying and how much they’re monitoring it,” she said.

She added she hopes the store will encourage current and future Evanston businesses to become more environmentally friendly.

A big part of the store will be customer education about its energy efficiency. Throughout the store, there will be signs explaining the various technologies such as LEED lighting, solar panels and wind turbines. In addition, there will be a monitor by the front registers that will show the usage and production of energy on site and will be updated every 15 minutes.

Meyers said Walgreens had to make many sacrifices — including the cost, which is double that of a normal store — to achieve net-zero energy, but he is excited to be at the forefront of the movement.

“There is a sense of competition among retailers when it comes to sustainability,” he said. “We strive to be a leader in corporate sustainability.”

Email: tylerpager2017@u.northwestern.edu
Twitter: @tylerpager

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