Walmart has outlined two key commitments related to the procurement of renewable energy and reducing the energy intensity of it buildings by 2020, as part of its goal of being supplied 100% by renewable energy.
Key milestones for its global sustainability initiative
Unveiled at Walmart’s Global Sustainability Milestone Meeting, the retailer has committed to achieving the following by the end of 2020. These are expected to generate energy savings in excess of $1bn once fully implemented:
- Drive the production or procurement of 7 billion kWh of renewable energy globally every year, a 600% increase over 2010 levels
- Reduce the kWh/sq. ft. energy intensity required to power Walmart’s buildings globally by 20% compared to 2010 levels
Aiming for 1,000 solar installations in the US
The retailer is anticipating that energy costs may grow twice as fast as its anticipated store growth, and these initiatives to find cleaner and more affordable energy are important elements of its EDLC business model. During 2012, Walmart added almost 100 renewable energy projects, bringing the total it has in operation across its global operations to almost 300. In the US, Walmart is aiming to install solar power on at least 1,000 rooftops and facilities by 2020, a significant increased from just over 200 which are in operation or underway currently.
Potential cost savings support EDLC approach
In addition to onsite solar, the retailer 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. Walmart’s leadership in this area is also likely to encourage others to invest in these areas, including other retailers and its suppliers, particularly given the potential cost savings such investments may generated.
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