Global efficiency through a local approach
Canada: The opening of the Balzac Fresh Food Distribution Centre on November 10, 2010, marked a major milestone. With pilots of hydrogen fuel cells used to power forklifts, as well as solar thermal and wind power, the 400,000-square-foot facility serves as a living lab for sustainability. It will boost energy efficiency by an estimated
60 percent over the company's traditional refrigerated centers, while cutting costs by $4.8 million (USD $4.83 million) over the next five years.
U.K.: ASDA's updated new store prototypes have been designed to reduce CO2 emissions by 42 percent, compared to a 2005 baseline. We achieved this reduction through technological solutions, such as reducing voltages and utilizing energy-efficient appliances, as well as by educating associates on how to save energy.
Central America: In 2010, we installed LED lighting systems in the parking and outdoor areas of more than 350 of our stores throughout Central America. These systems are expected to reduce energy consumption by a total of 50 percent and CO2 emissions by 540 tons, while saving the company $5 million pesos (USD $412,000) annually.
Brazil: In 2010, Walmart Brazil began testing a system to monitor more accurately liquid levels in refrigeration tanks. We also incorporated higher-efficiency horizontal refrigerators and freezers into many of our stores, while studying the potential to replace R22 gas in the refrigeration and HVAC systems with the preferred R410a in all new stores beginning in 2011.
Aiming for 100 percent renewable energy
In an effort to reach our larger goal of being supplied by 100 percent renewable energy, we are committed to finding more ways to implement and utilize renewable energy sources in our stores, clubs and distribution centers.
During FY11, we successfully completed several renewable energy projects, including the installation of 35 solar projects in Arizona, California and Puerto Rico. Eight of the solar projects installed in FY11 utilized thin-film solar, which created manufacturing jobs and accelerated this new technology's entry to market. We installed seven fuel cell projects in California this year and completed two microturbine wind projects on the parking lot light poles at the Walmart in Worcester, Mass., and at the Sam's Club in Palmdale, Calif.
We are in the second year of a four-year agreement to purchase clean energy from a state-of-the-art Duke Energy wind farm in Notrees, Texas. The agreement supplies up to 15 percent of the energy needs in 350 of our Texas locations. It has reduced our carbon emissions by 139,000 metric tons per year, which is the equivalent of taking 25,000 cars off the road or eliminating the CO2 produced by 18,000 homes annually, raising environmental quality and quality of life in the communities we serve.
Our Walmart U.S. Waste Network is collaborating with our environmental and facilities management teams to find ways to keep the organic waste we produce out of landfills. When other "higher purpose" uses for organic waste cannot be found, the utilization of waste-to-energy technologies has already resulted in two contracts by which Walmart exchanges organic materials for renewable energy credits.
We still have a considerable task ahead of us in attaining our goal of becoming 100 percent supplied by renewable energy, but we continue to show steady progress.
As part of our efforts to limit our carbon footprint, we are making progress on reducing greenhouse gas emissions from our 2005 base of existing stores, clubs and distribution centers around the world by 20 percent by 2012, using our 2005 emissions data as a baseline. In this fleet of buildings, we saw an absolute reduction in our greenhouse gas emissions of 10.61 percent by the end of 2009 (the most recent year for which we have data), and we continue to identify additional opportunities to move toward the realization of this important goal. Steps like these will ensure a cleaner, healthier environment for everyone.
We also saw an approximate 1 percent reduction in the total greenhouse gas footprint in 2009, which include new facilities and transportation emissions. Among the many contributing factors were technological advances in energy efficiency, new store prototypes that emit less greenhouse gas and reductions in refrigerants at our existing stores. There were also external factors outside our direct control that contributed to our 2009 reductions. For example, the U.S. experienced mild weather patterns during 2009. We realize the weather in 2010 could cause an opposite effect, but we continue to work on moving all factors within our control in a positive direction.
Mexico: Since April 1, 2010, Eléctrica del Valle de México has supplied energy to 348 of our units in Mexico City, the state of Mexico and Morelos state via a state-of-the-art wind farm. This clean energy resource provides 17 percent of the energy needs of Walmart de México and is expected to reduce CO2 emissions by 137,240 tons per year.*
U.S.: As of March 2010, the majority of our new and remodeled stores replaced the 77-watt ceramic metal halide spotlights used to highlight produce, fixtures and wall-mounted signage with 12-watt LED PAR38 spotlights, saving approximately 50 percent in energy per installation. In addition, LED spotlights have essentially no infrared or ultraviolet light wavelengths. Recessed 12.5-watt LED fixtures also replaced the 64-watt fluorescent fixtures in many of our store restrooms, generating an anticipated savings of 9,000 to 15,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) per site annually, depending on prototype size. An additional 200 stores retrofitted the 58-watt traditional fluorescent lamps in low- and medium-temperature refrigerated cases with 20-watt LED fixtures, saving in excess of 67,000 kWh in case door lighting and indirect refrigeration energy annually in the average superstore.
The U.S. facilities team has initiated a refrigerant leak reduction program across domestic stores and clubs that will significantly reduce greenhouse gas releases from refrigeration systems. Using our refrigerant management process, we are able to identify sites with multiple leaks and prioritize their maintenance schedule to address significant refrigerant leak sources. As of 2010, this initiative led to a reduction of more than 107,000 pounds of refrigerants.
Canada: For the sixth consecutive year, Walmart Canada reduced its sales floor lighting by one-third for the entire summer to help ease the strain on provincial power grids when usage is typically heaviest. In addition, our stores across the country recognized Earth Hour by reducing sales floor lighting for one day in March.
Chile: We installed centralized energy consumption control systems at 10 stores in 2010, bringing total installations to date to 25 hypermarkets. High-efficiency lighting, refrigerator doors, LED signage, and refrigeration and freezer motion sensors were implemented across our Chile operations. A training plan was also implemented for submanagers and those responsible for store maintenance to reinforce the 33 measures for energy efficiency and preferred use of supermarket equipment.
Argentina: In 2010, we constructed nine stores using a 2009 prototype designed to be 24 percent more energy efficient, compared to a 2007 baseline. The improved efficiency was achieved through the utilization of new lighting, refrigeration and air conditioning technologies.
*In Mexico, there is no market for Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) associated with our wind and solar purchases, and the electricity supplier has retained ownership of the Certified Emission Reduction credits (CERs). As the global renewable energy CER and REC markets evolve, Walmart continues to examine issues surrounding the retention, sale and purchase of non-power attributes of renewable energy across our global markets to better understand and implement best-in-class, conservative approaches that not only have environmental integrity, but also speed the scalability of emerging clean technologies globally, such as wind and solar. We are proud to partner with the World Resources Institute on this endeavor.