Walmart announces commitment to renewable energy

Walmart commitment to renewables

Walmart President and CEO Mike Duke announced Monday two steps the company plans on taking by 2020 in order to continue toward the company’s goal of being supplied 100 percent by renewable energy.

Duke said at Walmart’s Global Sustainability Milestone Meeting the company intends to drive the production or procurement of 7 billion KWh of renewable energy globally each year, which is a 600 percent increase from 2010 levels. The company also plans on reducing the KWh/sq. ft. energy intensity requires to power the its buildings globally by 20 percent compared to 2010 levels.

According to a release from the company, its 600 percent increase in renewable energy projects is expected to be equal to eliminating the need for roughly two U.S. fossil fuel power plants, and the two new commitments are anticipated to create more than $1 billion annual in energy savings once fully implemented.

As part of meeting the company’s goals, Walmart is hoping to install solar power on at least 1,000 rooftops and facilities by 2020. Currently, the company has just more than 200 solar projects in operation or under development. The company will also continue to develop projects in wind power, fuel cells and other technologies as well as procure offsite renewable energy from utility-scale projects.

Rhone Resch, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), said the company's decision to up its use of renewables is a "win-win for everyone."

"The company's decision to increase its clean energy projects by six-fold puts Walmart on a clear path to become 100 percent supplied by renewable energy by 2020," Resch said. "This 'lead-by-example' approach will not only benefit the company's 2 million associates and 150 million shoppers, but it will also significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, help the U.S. economy and stimulate American innovation."

The company also plans in increasing LED usage in sales floor lighting, parking lots and other applications.

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