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Sustainability Blog

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Shop 'Til You Zero!

Oaks mall aerial solar panels

In today’s world, it is well-documented that many consumers consider the environmental impact of the products they buy. When consumers reward products and brands by voting with their dollars, change happens. Take McDonald’s, for example. With a footprint spanning 37,000 communities and over 100 countries, their impact is huge and many of their customers want the fast-food giant to be green. McDonald’s response: a pledge to source 100% of their packaging from certified renewable resources and to recycle this packaging in every one of their restaurants by the year 2025.

Buying green, referred to in the profession as Environmentally Preferable Purchasing or EPP, is an excellent sustainable practice to utilize at the consumer level. But what about the physical places where we shop and where these transactions take place? Are there locations where we can purchase the goods and services we want that take steps to reduce resource consumption and greenhouse gas emissions?

Yes, and we have one right here in our community!

Built in 1978 and renovated twice since then, the Macerich-owned Oaks Mall is exceptionally green.

In terms of energy measures, the Oaks Mall has:

  • 6,131 solar panels on its rooftop that produce 1,594 kW of power
  • Electric vehicles for use by their security staff
  • LED lighting to minimize energy use and reduce carbon footprint
  • Upgraded heating and air conditioning system and thermostat regulation to minimize energy usage

And the Mall does a stellar job when it comes to minimizing waste with:

  • Reusable bag options offered by retailers
  • Green cleaning products used, for the most part, by custodial staff
  • Recycling bins throughout with more than 500 tons of recyclables collected annually, plus over 800 tons of cardboard recycled annually from the high volume of shipping and packaging material
  • Printer toners and ink cartridges collected and recycled using the Simi Valley-based Hero Appreciation Network, which receives a $2 donation for each cartridge received
  • Furniture and fixtures refinished or donated to charities and other organizations
  • Filtered water installed at the Management Office to avoid bottled water waste
  • Food waste collection and processing at all eateries to avoid landfilling organic waste

These efforts have helped the Mall become the first U.S. property to achieve “Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology (BREEAM) USA In-use” certification - a metric which measures and monitors environmental performance. Macerich, as an organization, boasts some of the most robust sustainability goals in the industry as they are “Innovating to Zero” with goals to be zero net energy, zero water wastage, near zero emissions, and zero waste sent to the landfill.

So, the next time you’re at the Oaks Mall, you may smile knowing that you’re shopping at an environmentally-friendly property. The planet sure will.

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