BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Mike Duke, Walmart president and CEO, has announced the company’s next step on the path to achieving its goal of being supplied 100 percent by renewable energy. Unveiled at its Global Sustainability Milestone Meeting, the company committed to achieving the production or procurement of 7 billion kWh of renewable energy globally every year — a 600 percent increase over 2010 levels — by the end of 2020. The retailer will also reduce the kWh/square foot energy intensity required to power its buildings by 20 percent 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. “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.”

Walmart’s six-fold increase in renewable energy projects is projected to be equal to eliminating the need for roughly two U.S. fossil fuel power plants. Based on estimates of energy costs and other factors, the two new commitments are anticipated to generate more than $1 billion annually in energy savings once fully implemented.

According to the Solar Energy Industry Association, Walmart has more solar power capacity and number of systems than any other company in America. Walmart has also been cited by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as America’s leading user of onsite renewable energy.

In the U.S. alone, Walmart hopes to install solar power on at least 1,000 rooftops and facilities by 2020, a significant increase from just over 200 solar projects in operation or under development currently. 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.

In order to meet its energy efficiency goal between now and 2020, Walmart said it will focus on such technologies as high-efficiency HVAC and refrigeration systems and sophisticated energy/building control systems. Walmart also plans to increase LED usage in sales floor lighting, parking lots, and other applications.

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Publication date: 4/29/2013