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Walmart announces new goals for energy efficiency and renewables


From the April 18, 2013 issue of Public Power Daily

Originally published April 18, 2013

By Robert Varela
Editorial Director
Walmart said April 15 it is committed to achieving two new goals by Dec. 31, 2020: drive the production or procurement of 7 billion kWh of renewable energy globally every year; and reduce by 20 percent from 2010 levels the energy required to power its buildings globally. The renewable energy goal would represent a 600 percent increase over 2010 levels, the retail giant said. The new commitments reinforce goals Walmart established in 2005: to be supplied 100 percent by renewable energy; to create zero waste; and to sell products that sustain people and the environment.

Based on 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, Walmart said. Currently, over the term of its power purchase agreements, the renewable energy Walmart buys either meets or beats non-renewable power prices, the company said. In the United States alone, Walmart hopes to install solar power on at least 1,000 rooftops and facilities by 2020, up from just over 200 solar projects now in operation or under development.

To meet its energy efficiency goal between now and 2020, Walmart expects to increase LED usage in sales floor lighting, parking lots and other applications. The company said it will also focus on market-relevant scalable technologies, including high-efficiency HVAC and refrigeration systems and sophisticated energy/building control systems. 

"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 Walmart President and CEO Mike Duke. "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."

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