Achievements in Building Design
In the U.S., we have developed a number of initiatives designed to help us move toward our goals to:
- Design and open a viable store prototype in the U.S. that is up to 25 to 30 percent more efficient and will produce up to 30 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions by 2009 (2005 Baseline).
- Reduce greenhouse gases at our existing store, club and distribution center base around the world by 20 percent by 2012 (2005 Baseline).
These ambitious goals are rooted in a three-step process (as seen below) of experimenting, piloting and then deploying new technologies in our prototype buildings — some incremental, some game-changing. We're also retrofitting existing stores with some of these technologies.
In the past year, we have taken several of the more progressive technologies from our experimental stores in Colorado and Texas (see graphic below) and applied them to stores built within our high-efficiency store series. In 2008, we opened four second-generation, high-efficiency pilot stores in the U.S. that are estimated to use 25 percent less energy and expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by decreasing refrigerant use by an estimated 90 percent compared to the baseline Walmart supercenter.
Three-Phase Technology Deployment Process
In Puerto Rico, energy prices are incredibly high, and the island often experiences power outages resulting from high demand. As part of its Sustainable Development Program, our Puerto Rican market has built two high-efficiency supercenters in Baramaya and Canóvanas which are estimated to be 20 percent more energy efficient than the baseline supercenter built in 2005. Each store includes environmentally beneficial features such as smart lights that dim when natural sunlight is available, energy-saving air conditioners, refrigerators and freezers that minimize the use of refrigerant and increase efficiency, and refrigerator doors that feature LED lights that are 70 percent more energy efficient than traditional fluorescent lights. Additionally, Puerto Rico has retrofitted more than 2,000 LED lamps in its stores and is committed to replacing the remaining lamps in the next three years.
Wal-Mart de Mexico invested 640 million pesos ($57 million USD) to turn a waste dump into Mexico's first ecological shopping center. Opened in May 2008, Plaza Ecológica Ciudad Jardín is a new state-of-the-art facility which integrates technologies that save energy and water and has generated 1,500 jobs for the local community. Even more impressive than the technologies that were installed to make this mall more eco-friendly was the cleaning of the 10-hectare (approximately 25-acre) dump which previously stored trash more than 15 meters deep. To clean the waste dump, approximately 208,000 cubic meters of garbage was extracted and moved to Tultitlán sanitary fill to create energy using the bio-gas burning process. Three thousand tons of ash and lime were then injected into the remaining hole to stop decomposition, the production of methane gas and create a more stable surface for the units. The Plaza Ecológica Ciudad Jardín is now home to a Walmart supercenter, Sam's Club, Vips and El Portón restaurants. Click here to learn more about Plaza Ecológica Ciudad Jardín.
In 2008, Wal-Mart Brazil opened its first eco-efficient store, Supercenter Campinho, which is expected to use 25 percent less energy and 40 percent less water than the baseline Walmart supercenter in Brazil. The store is more energy efficient by using T-9 fluorescent lighting and an Energy Management System like the one used in the U.S. Additionally, the store is testing solar energy light poles that use sodium vapor 35W lamps which are generating an annual energy savings of 153.2 kWh per lamp compared to traditional light poles. This is equivalent to the monthly energy use of a typical middleclass family in Brazil. This store also has the ability to treat its own sewage using a technology that meets all environmental regulations and enables the store to reuse water. The reclaimed water is used in toilets and to irrigate gardens. An innovative feature of the store is a "green wall" built with Styrofoam blocks for insulation and covered by creeper vines which reduce the absorption of external heat into the store. Together, these two components of the "green wall" reduce the use of air conditioning and help Wal-Mart Brazil save money.
Wal-Mart Central America has installed skylights in more than 70 percent of its stores. The skylights comprise 12 to 15 percent of the store roof which leads to savings in energy needed to light the stores.
Due to public demand for energy-efficient buildings, Wal-Mart Canada pledged that beginning in the fourth quarter of 2009 all new stores built in Canada are designed to be 30 percent more energy efficient compared to stores built in 2005. And in January 2009, Wal-Mart Canada opened its first environmental store, which is estimated to use 51 percent less energy than a typical supercenter and reduce carbon emissions by an estimated 140 tons annually. It also is expected to redirect an estimated 85 percent of its waste from landfills through a variety of recycling programs.
In the U.K., ASDA opened its flagship green store in Bootle, Liverpool. This store uses 40 percent less energy and is expected to emit 50 percent fewer CO2 emissions than a standard ASDA store. In addition to its efficiency increases, the store was built using several sustainable materials. The store was built entirely from sustainably-sourced Scandinavian timber, has translucent paneling on the south-facing wall to increase natural light, uses under-floor heating from a geothermal source, and integrates recycled building materials such as bricks and aluminum roofing. The warehouse section of the store is topped by a green roof that provides wildlife habitat and removes CO2 from the atmosphere.
Wal-Mart China is working to reduce energy consumption in its existing stores by 30 percent and in its new prototype store by 40 percent by 2010. By integrating LED lights for general store lighting and introducing lighting control, new lighting arrangements, and other energy-saving initiatives, Wal-Mart China is moving closer to those goals. Currently, they have reduced energy consumption in their existing stores in China by more than 24 percent and in the prototype by more than 31 percent.
Seiyu in Japan aims to build stores that use 25 to 30 percent less energy and create 30 percent fewer emissions than stores built in 2005. So far, Seiyu has been successful in building a prototype store that uses 27.4 percent less electricity and creates 26.3 percent fewer CO2 emissions than the 2005 baseline model. The prototype incorporates a number of energy-efficient technologies, including a temperature and humidity regulation system (a desiccant system), more efficient refrigeration cases and LED lighting. Going forward, new stores will be based on this prototype and incorporate additional energy-conserving technologies as they become viable.