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.