When the staff at Metro Lighting found out they’d won the Energy Star® Excellence in Retailing award in 2010, they were beyond pleased at their good fortune. When they won it again the very next year, they were stunned.
“We knew we were doing a lot to promote energy efficiency, but winning the Energy Star award back-to-back was a really big deal,” says Nick Frisella, Metro Lighting Project Manager and the author of the retailer’s Energy Star award application. “Overall, we were just immensely proud of all the work we put in to get there.”
Once a year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency honors Energy Star partner businesses and organizations that have made exceptional contributions on behalf of energy efficiency. Given to one retailer or showroom nationally, the Excellence in Retailing for Lighting Award recognizes a lighting retailer or showroom’s support of Energy Star-qualified lighting products and their efforts to champion Energy Star’s goals in the lighting market. Metro Lighting is still the only lighting showroom to have received the honor to date.
Being green may be in vogue, but that was the last thing on Frisella’s mind when he bulked up the St. Louis retailer’s energy-efficient lighting program in 2009.
“I’m an outdoors kind of guy. I love fishing and camping,” Frisella says. “So it’s important to me to try to make the smallest footprint possible.”
An Energy Star partner since 2007, Metro already had plenty of Energy Star-rated products on its salesfloor as well as a successful CFL recycling program. But Frisella knew Metro could do more. He began by expanding the retailer’s energy-efficient training program, educating each staff member on the benefits of Energy Star and inviting manufacturers to share the latest program-rated products at regular “lunch and learn” events held at the store. He signed Metro up for environmentally focused community events and expos, where the retailer became renowned for its CFL giveaways in partnership with bulb manufacturer TCP. Before long, he also forged a partnership with AmerenUE, St. Louis’ local utility company, to promote Energy Star products and offer instant rebates for residents purchasing approved lighting fixtures from Metro. Internally, he encouraged the Metro staff to do their part to recycle office paper, plastic and aluminum cans.
Although it’s been a over a year since Metro took home the Energy Star award, the accomplishment continues to motivate the showroom to think of new and inventive ways to promote energy-efficient lighting. Metro’s latest project is a comprehensive energy-efficient section on its website.
“It’s our responsibility as an Energy Star award winner to keep moving forward,” Frisella says. “We are passionate about increasing the number of energy-efficient products on the shelves and doing what we can to advance new products. It’s good for our customers, and knowing we’re doing something good for the environment helps us sleep better at night, too.”
Metro Lighting dedicates an area of its Brentwood, MO, showroom to Energy Star®-rated products.
Metro attends local environmentally focused events like the Green Home Fair to help educate consumers.