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Net-Zero Greenhouse Gas Feasibility Analysis

Executive Summary

This executive summary addresses the results of a study, prepared at CarMax’s request, analyzing the feasibility of CarMax achieving net zero Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions by 2030. The 2030 target was chosen to align with the Paris Climate Agreement’s emissions goals.

The first step in assessing the ability for CarMax to achieve net zero GHG emissions was to prepare a GHG inventory in accordance with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and the World Resources Institute’s GHG Protocol[1]. The inventory used FY2017 data and includes the following emissions:

  • Scope 1 direct emissions, which occur from sources owned or controlled by CarMax, e.g., natural gas used in CarMax stores and offices for heating, and diesel and gasoline usage by CarMax owned and/or operated cars and trucks; and
  • Scope 2 electricity indirect emissions, which are emissions from electricity purchased and consumed by CarMax.

The results of the inventory show that the majority of CarMax’s GHG emissions are due to the electricity and natural gas used in stores and offices (81% and 13% of total emissions, respectively). Approximately 5% of total emissions are from diesel used in CarMax’s truck fleet and gasoline used by vehicles while still under CarMax’s ownership.

CarMax FY2017 Total GHG Emissions

Natural Gas
Mobile - On-road

Using the GHG inventory, CarMax’s sources of annual GHG emissions and their magnitude were evaluated to develop a preliminary list of potential GHG mitigation actions and strategies. Those strategies include energy consumption reductions and expanded use of renewable energy.

Achieving net zero GHG emissions by relying on these strategies alone is unlikely to be realistic, however, as not all sources of CarMax’s carbon emissions are technically or economically feasible to eliminate by 2030. Therefore, it is anticipated that investments in credible carbon offsets would also play a necessary role in CarMax achieving net zero GHG emissions by 2030.

Over the last few years CarMax has taken many actions to minimize the amount of energy needed to operate its stores. These measures include energy efficient lighting upgrades; implementation of auto shutoffs in energy consuming equipment and computers; and serving as an active Energy Star partner, applying Energy Star recommendations for energy management and reduction. However, further action would be required for CarMax to achieve net zero GHG emissions.

[1] WRI/WBCSD’s ‘The Greenhouse Gas Protocol: A Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard’ (2004 and amended 2013) (referred to as the GHG Protocol)