In a flurry of announcements, Wal-Mart Canada plans to build an energy efficient distribution center, as well as add wind and solar to its operations.
In a bid to share sustainability best practices, the retailer also has launched a Web site, ShareGreen.ca, which includes case studies of sustainability practices at firms such as Heinz, PepsiCo, HP, Home Depot, Canon and others.
Case studies of about 70 companies, NGOs and other organizations are listed at the site, which was unveiled during its green business summit Feb. 10 in Vancouver. Wal-Mart took the unusual step of inviting competitors to its summit.
The Canadian division also will initiate a sustainable product index, becoming the first Wal-Mart division outside the U.S. to go that route. See details about the U.S. version here.
In the area of operations, Wal-Mart Canada’s forthcoming refrigerated distribution center in Balzac, Alberta, is expected to be one of the most energy efficient buildings of its kind, according to a press release.
The distribution center will be 60 percent more efficient than other such Wal-Mart operations. The $108 million distribution center will use fuel cell technology, solid state LED lighting, solar and wind energy.
The building will have 16 solar thermal panels for heating water.
A 225-kilowatt wind turbine will provide the equivalent energy needed to power 55 homes.
The 450,000 square-foot building will have white roof membrane to deflect 85 percent of sunlight to reduce heat gain.
Waste heat from the refrigeration system will help heat the building during the winter.
The building is also using low-flow plumbing fixtures and native landscaping to reduce its water footprint.
Wal-Mart also plans to install a rooftop solar system and a wind turbine at two other locations in Ontario, reports Reuters.