Walmart’s Renewable Energy Commitment
Renewables and energy efficiency have long been part of Walmart’s strategy to operate at an everyday low cost, while also allowing Walmart to be a good steward of the environment.
Learn more about what we’re doing, not just to conserve energy, but also to create energy.
Working toward 100% renewable energy
We’ve come a long way since our first on-site solar project in the U.S. in 2005 and our first large-scale wind power agreement in Mexico in 2006. At the end of 2013, we had more than 335 renewable energy projects in operation or under development across our global portfolio. These projects provide our facilities with more than 2.2 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) of renewable electricity annually. Together with renewable electricity from the grid, 26% of our electricity needs globally are supplied by renewable sources.
We recently committed to driving the production or procurement of 7 billion kWh of renewable energy globally by Dec. 31, 2020. We’re already approximately 43% of the way there. You can read about our approach to sourcing renewable energy here.
The following are a few examples of recent initiatives that have helped us move the needle:
- Walmart International procured 1,637 GWh of Walmart-driven renewable energy. That’s more than double Walmart International’s total from 2012, with Mexico and the U.K. leading the way.
- Walmart Mexico broke ground on four large-scale renewable energy projects that will be completed in 2014. Combined, these projects will add 252 megawatts (MW) of clean energy. Together with the 67.5MW of wind energy currently serving Walmart Mexico stores, these projects will represent 1,195 GWh of renewable energy, more than 40% of its annual consumption. Walmart Mexico is on track to supply 60% of its energy demand needs for 1,233 stores through renewable energy by the end of 2014.
- Walmart Brazil entered a bid to purchase green power on the open market sourced from sugar mill, hydropower and small hydropower plants. To date, 84 stores are being served by this clean energy, with an expected savings of 11.5% on each store’s energy bill. Eventually, 97 stores will be served through this green power bid.
- Walmart U.S. installed its 250th solar energy system, each providing 15% to 30% of a store’s electricity needs. Walmart U.S. grew its number of fuel-cell sites to 42, each site providing 40% to 60% of store needs. These new systems bring us closer to our anticipated total of more than 1,000 projects worldwide.
- Walmart’s first 1 MW wind turbine completed its first year of operation. This utility-scale turbine provides approximately 15% to 20% of the total electricity required by our Red Bluff Distribution Center in California.
Transitioning to renewable energy is not enough in itself. We’re responsible for using that energy as efficiently as possible. By Dec. 31, 2020, we have committed to reducing the energy per square foot intensity required to power our buildings around the world by 20% (compared to our 2010 baseline of stores).
Our global energy-efficiency projects focus on the greatest opportunities for savings. Over the past two years, we have completed more than 3,500 projects. The following is a sampling of progress we made in 2013:
- We retrofitted refrigerators and freezers with doors at more than 750 stores in Mexico, Central America and Brazil.
- We accelerated the installation of LED lighting in our stores. Nearly all lighting in most new buildings is LED in the following markets: Brazil, Central America, Chile, Japan, Mexico and the U.K.
- Walmart U.S. opened its first 100% LED supercenter in South Euclid, Ohio, which annually consumes 34% less energy than a conventional store. This marks a milestone for Walmart U.S. because it goes beyond sales floor LEDs to include all lighting in the building and parking lot.
Refrigerants account for 12% of our global GHG footprint, nearly twice that of the fuel used in our trucks. In recent years, we’ve realized a more than 8% decrease in total annual GHG emissions from refrigerants in our 2005 base of stores and clubs. One of several influencing factors was our development of a secondary loop refrigeration system – a new system to increase efficiency, prevent leakage and cut greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 95%. We continue to see the growth rate of our refrigerant emissions decrease at all our facilities, when compared to both sales and square footage.