WASHINGTON - Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s commitment to energy efficiency - including a plan to reduce by 20 percent the amount of energy used in all its existing stores - has earned the retailer the Alliance to Save Energy's 2006 Chairman's Award. The award, personally selected by the Alliance Chair, U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), also recognizes the company's existing energy practices and commitment to design and open a viable prototype store within four years that is 25 to 30 percent more energy efficient and reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by up to 30 percent.

"As the nation's largest private electricity consumer, Wal-Mart recognizes that it can have a huge impact and be a powerful force for change in the private sector by reducing its energy use and contributing to environmental sustainability," said Alliance President Kateri Callahan.

"Wal-Mart's leadership in the energy-efficiency arena led to its selection by Sen. Mark Pryor as the recipient of one of the Alliance's most prestigious awards, one that is bestowed only in years when a worthy recipient comes to the fore," Callahan added.

"As an Arkansas-based company, Wal-Mart serves as an example of good energy stewardship not only to other businesses in our state but also to companies and corporations across the nation," Pryor noted. "As chair of the Alliance to Save Energy's board of directors, I am pleased to select Wal-Mart as the 2006 recipient of the Alliance's prestigious Chairman's Award and to spread the word that investing in energy efficiency is good for the community, the environment, and America's 'bottom line.'"

"On behalf of Wal-Mart's 1.3 million associates in the United States, we are honored to receive the Alliance to Save Energy's 2006 Chairman's Award in recognition of what we are doing to be a more energy efficient company and promote energy efficiency up and down the supply chain," said Wal-Mart President and CEO H. Lee Scott Jr. "We believe that corporations can develop and implement practices that are good for the environment and good for business. We are making amazing strides in this endeavor, and we are doing more every day."

As part of Scott's 2005 challenge to make preservation of the environment a core company objective, Wal-Mart Stores made a commitment to invest some $500 million a year in energy efficiency and sustainable technologies, reduce greenhouse gas emissions from existing stores and distribution centers by 20 percent over the next seven years, increase the efficiency of its heavy-duty truck fleet by 25 percent in three years and 100 percent in 10 years, implement a "green company" program in China, and initiate programs that show preference to suppliers that set their own sustainability goals and aggressively reduce their own emissions.

In addition, Wal-Mart has a variety of existing energy-efficiency and emission reduction policies in place. These include:

  • Installing high-efficiency HVAC units with an EER (energy efficiency rating) between 10.8 and 13.2, well above the industry standard of 9.0;

  • Using vending machine controllers that will reduce energy use by nearly 20 percent;

  • Implementing an extensive waste heat capture system at more than 2,000 facilities that uses captured waste heat from refrigeration equipment to heat water for stores' kitchen prep areas;

  • Using cool roof technology to reduce the cooling load by 10 percent;

  • Installing occupancy sensors in most non-sales areas;

  • Using "daylight harvesting" - skylights with computer-controlled continuous dimming - at more than 2,000 locations and newer, more energy-efficient lighting at nearly all older stores, resulting in a 15 to 20 percent reduction in energy load; and

  • Making a commitment to explore energy-saving technologies and materials at two experimental stores.

    The Alliance to Save Energy is a coalition of business, government, environmental, and consumer leaders who promote the efficient and clean use of energy worldwide to benefit consumers, the environment, the economy, and national security. For more information, visit www.ase.org.

    Publication date: 09/18/2006