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Corporate Renewable Energy is Possible: Look at Walmart

With a current estimated 1.1 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) of renewable energy, Walmart seeks to establish itself as a corporate leader in renewable energy production and carbon footprint reduction.

Corporate Renewable Energy is Possible: Look at Walmart

Since 2005, Walmart has implemented several renewable energy and energy efficiency initiatives in its business operations, making it a leader in corporate renewable energy. According to the Solar Energy Industry Association and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Walmart is the leader in onsite and offsite renewable energy and has more solar power capacity and systems than any other company in the United States.

As the company expands its operations not only in the United States but also into international consumer markets, curbing its carbon footprint for its stores and facilities is the company’s most ambitious corporate initiatives. With the ultimate goal of supplying 100% of its power through renewable energy, Walmart is taking major steps with the unveiling of its new timeline, released at the company’s Global Sustainability Milestone Meeting. The company pledges to increase its renewable energy production by 600 percent over 2010 levels, to seven billion kWh by 2020. To accomplish this goal, Walmart will use a combination of solar power, fuel cells, wind, micro-hydro, and geothermal. Moreover, the company vows to cut energy intensity (kWh per square foot) by 20 percent when compared to 2010 levels to reduce the power needed to power its buildings worldwide.

“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.”

It is currently projected that the increase in renewable energy production by 2020 will provide over $1 billion in energy savings and will offset nine million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually upon implementation. To put this into perspective, Walmart’s forecasted reduction in carbon emissions is equivalent to taking 1.5 million cars off the road!

“When I look at the future, energy costs may grow as much as twice as fast as our anticipated stores and club growth,” said Mr. Duke. “Finding cleaner and more affordable energy is important to our everyday low cost business model and makes it important to our customers’ pocketbooks. Our leadership in this area is something our customers can feel good about because the result is a cleaner environment. And savings we can pass on to them.”

As the adoption of renewable energy continues to increase in both the public and private sector, there is a growing demand for qualified specialists and installers to adequately handle the installation of generators like wind turbines and solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. Moreover, as more companies aspire to implement corporate renewable energy initiatives, there is also a strong need for knowledgeable sustainability management professionals who can assist in the implementation of sustainable practices. With an expansive curriculum that incorporates green building, energy efficiency, renewable energy, and sustainability management, Everblue can assist in the preparation of a career in the sustainability industry. For more information, please visit our Solar Training courses, email us at [email protected], or call us at (800) 460-2575.

About Lesley Cowie

Lesley has been passionately advocating for and working with green building and renewable energy since 2009. She has experience with LEED certification, home energy auditing, blower door testing, solar energy, and more. She holds many certifications, including LEED Green Associate and NABCEP Certification. Her work has won numerous awards over the past decade.