At an event with President Barack Obama, Walmart promised to double the number of on-site solar energy projects at its U.S. stores, Sam’s Clubs and distribution centers by 2020. The commitment is part of Walmart’s global initiative to drive the production or procurement of 7 billion kWh of renewable energy by the end of 2020.
|Walmart (Photo Credit: Wikipedia)|
Walmart has made significant progress toward its goal to be supplied by 100% renewable energy in recent years. With the newest commitment, Walmart will further extend its leadership in renewables, doubling its solar energy projects in the United States and Puerto Rico over the next six years, compared to a 2013 baseline.
“We share the President’s commitment to a sustainable energy future and applaud his willingness to partner with business on this important issue,” said Bill Simon, president and CEO of Walmart U.S. “We know from experience that investing in energy innovation allows us to save money, reduce carbon pollution, and create jobs.”
Walmart made the announcement while hosting President Obama at a solar-powered store in Mountain View, California. The President visited the store to highlight the importance of energy efficiency and renewables in keeping America strong.
Being one of the leaders of commercial solar energy users according to the Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA), Walmart is recognized as the largest on-site renewable energy user in America by the EPA’s Green Power Partnership2. Walmart has also signed on to the Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Initiative3, reinforcing the company’s commitment to reduce the energy intensity of its buildings by 20% by 2020, compared to a 2010 baseline. In total, Walmart’s 2020 commitments to scale renewables and accelerate energy efficiency globally4 could save the company as much as $1 billion a year in energy costs.
The Mountain View store currently derives 14.5% of its energy from solar systems built and installed by SolarCity, a local California business and one of Walmart’s largest solar vendors.
As Walmart and other companies commit to solar, it creates more certainty in the marketplace and encourages others to invest, lowering the cost for everyone. According to Lyndon Rive, CEO of SolarCity, “One of SolarCity’s biggest challenges is that customers are still stuck with the stigma that clean energy is expensive. Walmart’s scale, brand, and leadership is sending the signal that solar is cost effective. Walmart is showing you can be sustainable, and you can do it at prices that meet or beat the price of energy from the grid.”