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Walmart to Save $150m with Sustainability Initiatives in FY13

Walmart said yesterday it will add $150 million in benefits to its bottom line from sustainability initiatives such as solar and wind energy projects, fuel cell installations, and its zero waste program in fiscal year 2013.

The new goal, announced at Walmart’s annual meeting for investors, is in addition to the $231 million the company says it saved last year from waste reduction and recycling.

According to the company’s 2012 Global Responsibility Report, Walmart kept 80.9 percent of waste from its US operations out of landfills in 2011 and achieved cost savings through a combination of increased recycling revenue and decreased expenses.

The company has said it will eliminate landfill waste from US stores and Sam’s Club locations by 2025.

In China and Brazil, Walmart stores diverted 52 percent of operational waste from landfills in 2011, and its UK chain ASDA now sends zero food waste to landfills, the sustainability report says.

The company also cut its plastic shopping bag waste about 3.1 billion bags in 2011, a 35 percent reduction from a 2007 baseline, beating its goal of a 33 percent cut by 2013.

Also last year, Walmart became the second-largest onsite power generator in the US, for its Texas and California stores alone, according to rankings by the EPA. Last month, the company announced its largest solar installation to date: a 3.3 MW system atop the Buckeye distribution center near Phoenix, Ariz.

Walmart has 65,000 kW of installed solar capacity, according to a report published in September by the Solar Energy Industries Association and the Vote Solar Initiative, and is the no. 1 corporate solar user in terms of on-site capacity.

The company has more than 180 renewable energy projects in operation. These include a 90 MW wind farm in West Texas, providing 15 percent of power for more than 300 Walmart stores and Sam’s Clubs, and a 1 MW wind turbine pilot project, located at its distribution center in Red Bluff, Calif.

Additionally, 26 fuel cell sites in California supply energy to local Walmart stores and Sam’s Clubs.

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3 thoughts on “Walmart to Save $150m with Sustainability Initiatives in FY13

  1. so where did all the waste go? to the consumer or the manufacturer? the saying is oh so true with this market, garbage in, garbage out. I bet my recycling container that $231M in savings is largely due to externalization of the waste.

  2. If the desired effect of saving money by being environmentally friendly is to be achieved though, one should ask what that saved money would be spent on. Walmart’s savings of $150 million thanks to green policies should be a subject of a discussion on how to use them further. It is valid to ask whether that money saved can further multiply the effect of the already started project by investing that money further into green projects. That would really show whether Walmart is just having a win-win green strategy or is truly interested in CSR.

  3. Walmart recycles EVERYTHING. Plastic, cardboard, pallets, sticky label backings…literally everything. And that money is used to further their sustainability and help local communities. Walmart donates over a million bucks a DAY to help local charities and non-profits. Too bad the media portrays them as this giant business-eating venture…they do more to help the planet than any other company of their size.

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