"When I look at the future, energy costs may grow as much as twice as fast as our anticipated store and club growth," Duke said. "Finding cleaner and more affordable energy is important to our every day low cost business model and that 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."
Already today, over the term of its power purchase agreements (PPAs), the renewable energy Walmart buys either meets or beats non-renewable power prices. In 2012 alone, Walmart added nearly 100 renewable energy projects, bringing the total number of projects in operation worldwide to nearly 300 today. According to the Solar Energy Industry Association, it 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 renewables, using more onsite renewable power than any other company in the U.S. These new commitments will further strengthen Walmart's leadership position and make a strong statement about the viability and affordability of 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.
"Walmart's new sustainability goals are not only a sign of strong leadership for the company, they can spur others around the world to take action. Walmart's commitments show that it understands the urgency of embracing renewable energy to reduce pollution and greenhouse gases, while driving business growth that is cleaner and more efficient," said Andrew Steer, President and CEO, World Resources Institute. "WRI has provided advice on Walmart's renewable energy strategy and has seen the company in action in the United States and in emerging markets, like India, where Walmart is participating in the Green Power Market Development Group. By following through on these commitments, Walmart can set a powerful example for businesses and government officials alike who are looking to move to a more sustainable and low-carbon future."In order to meet its energy efficiency goal between now and 2020, Walmart projects to increase LED usage in sales floor lighting, parking lots and other applications. Walmart will also focus on market-relevant scalable technologies, including high efficiency HVAC and refrigeration systems and sophisticated energy/building control systems.