Home Depot is slashing the carbon footprint of its big box stores by using green energy tech that fits in a little box.
The home improvement retailer has joined the growing ranks of companies turning to fuel cell technology maker Bloom Energy to generate electricity on site. Home Depot now powers 140 stores and charges forklifts at two distribution centers with Bloom Energy Servers.
The parking space–sized containers house fuel cells that turn fuel such as natural gas into electricity through an electro-chemical process rather than combustion, delivering low-emission off-grid energy. The servers also power eBay's data center in South Jordan, Utah and Morgan Stanley's New York City headquarters.
By adopting the technology, Home Depot has driven down its electricity costs by 15 to 20 percent in the locations where it runs the servers, said the retailer's Chief Financial Officer Carol Tome. It has also cut carbon dioxide emissions by 50 million pounds since 2014, she added.
"That's the equivalent of 4,800 cars removed off the roads, so we're thrilled," Tome told CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Tuesday.
While the Bloom servers emit fewer emissions than the electric grid, an NBC Bay Area investigation found their efficiency dropped over time, somewhat narrowing the gap with the grid. Bloom revised the data it promotes following the investigation.