Bentonville, Ark., On the heels of a plan to make health care more affordable for its associates, Wal-Mart Stores introduced a second major act of corporate responsibility: this time it’s corporate policies aimed at environmental stewardship. The company hopes to save costs as well as reduce energy use in its stores, increase the fuel efficiency of its trucking system and encourage its vendors to follow suit, the New York Times reported. In an address to employees, CEO Lee Scott said: "As one of the largest companies in the world, with an expanding global presence, environmental problems are our problems.”
Some of Wal-Mart’s plans specifics are to invest $500 million in technologies that will reduce greenhouse gases from stores and distribution centers by 20% over the next seven years; increase the fuel efficiency of its truck fleet by 25% over the next three years and double it within 10 years. The company also intends to design a new store within four years that is at least 25% more energy-efficient.
The company recently unveiled an experimental store in McKinney, Texas, that includes eco-friendly features such as a 120 ft. –tall wind turbine, solar panels and a bio-waste boiler that converts waste oil from cooking fryers and motors into heat.