Walmart Goes “All In” On Energy Efficiency And Renewables
Courtesy of Pat Byington, The Green Register Editor
If Walmart was playing a game of poker with its energy portfolio, it just went “all in” and placed its bet on renewables and energy efficiency.
This week, just in time for Earth Day, the retail giant’s President and CEO, Mike Duke, announced the company is taking its next step on the path to achieving Walmart’s goal of being supplied 100 percent by renewable energy.
The plan to accomplish this task in 7 short years was unveiled at Walmart’s Global Sustainability Milestone Meeting. To meet the goal by 2020, two commitments were made at the conference.
On the energy side, Walmart committed to drive the production or procurement of 7 billion kWh of renewable energy globally every year, a 600% increase over 2010 levels.
On the energy efficiency side, the company committed to reduce the kWh/sq. ft. energy intensity required to power Walmart’s buildings globally by 20% compared to 2010 levels.
“More than ever, we know that our goal to be supplied 100 percent by renewable energy is the right goal and that marrying up renewables with energy efficiency is especially powerful,” said Duke in the company’s press release announcing the commitment. “The math adds up pretty quickly – when we use less energy that’s less energy we have to buy, and that means less waste and more savings. These new commitments will make us a stronger business, and they’re great for our communities and the environment.”
Based on Walmart’s own external estimates of projected energy costs and other factors, the two new commitments are anticipated to generate more than $1 billion annually in energy savings once fully implemented.
In 2012 alone, Walmart added nearly 100 renewable energy projects, bringing the total number of projects in operation worldwide to nearly 300. In the U.S., Walmart plans to install solar power on 1000 rooftops and facilities by 2020. In addition to onsite solar, the company will continue to develop projects in wind, fuel cells and other technologies. It will also procure offsite renewable energy from utility-scale projects, such as large wind projects, micro-hydro projects and geothermal.
Since 2005, Walmart’s has focused on three sustainability goals.
* To be supplied 100% by renewable energy
* To create zero waste
* To sell products that sustain people and the environment
The “100% renewables by 2020″ announcement this week reinforces that nearly decade long commitment. It also is enormous news for people who care about renewable energy and sustainability. They now have on their side the largest retail company in the world, “betting on” the future of renewable energy.
For more details about Walmart’s environmental and sustainability commitments and a webcast of the announcement, visit the Walmart Green Room website.
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