Currently, Walmart gets 26% of it’s power from green and renewable sources. The company has stated that one of their main goals is to have all of their energy provided by renewable energy sources by 2020.This shift towards green energy is not just good for the environment, but it is also good for business. Walmart is a global chain that has energy costs estimated to be around $1 billion USD a year. So, Walmart’s transition to the often cheaper renewable energy is a smart one. In order to achieve this goal, Walmart is increasing their sources of green energy in a number of ways. The company constantly expands their use solar panels across the country. In 2014, 6% of all walmart locations had solar panels on their roofs, this makes Walmart the largest commercial solar generator in the US. Walmart also takes advantage of US government tax benefits to offset the initial investment that is often needed for creating environmentally friendly energy sources. Another way Walmart has managed to make profit, is through a clever partnership with a solar panel supplier named SolarCity. Walmart lets SolarCity have access to their large rooftops that are ideal for solar panels. In exchange, SolarCity signs a long term deal with Walmart to provide the company with energy created by the panels for well below the average cost of non-solar energy. This deal saves Walmart money, improves their image, and reduces the company’s environmental footprint. Walmart also cuts energy costs by installing Bloom boxes, a technology that “uses a cleaner electrochemical process to transform natural gas into electricity”. The only problem with this system is that the US subsidies for clean energy sources are set to expire in 2017. However, Walmart remains confident that they can still reach their 2020 goal, despite this setback.
This story is a perfect example of how companies can reduce their ecological footprint, while simultaneously cutting costs. Walmart made clever partnerships with green energy companies to ensure that this shift in policy was not expensive for shareholders. Walmart is also improving their brand by showing an interest in not taking more than their fair share of the earth’s commons. By making sustainable choices, Walmart is improving the earth and enhancing their image worldwide. I wholeheartedly support this policy shift. It shows that Walmart is currently at transforming stage of global corporate citizenship with regards to the environment. By implementing these policies, and showing that they can be favorable, Walmart is a leading example for other corporations. In the future I anticipate that more companies will follow Walmart in their use of renewable energy sources, and Walmart will be able to claim responsibility for initiating this trend.