Vancouver, British Columbia Walmart Canada announced that it will open its first sustainable refrigerated distribution center in Balzac, Alberta, later this year. Expected to be one of the most energy-efficient distribution facilities of its kind in North America, the cutting-edge center will be an estimated 60% more energy-efficient than Walmart's traditional refrigerated distribution centers. The center will include a pilot of fuel-cell technology and many other sustainable features.
The announcement was made at the Walmart Canada Green Business Summit in Vancouver today, which brought together more than 300 of Canada's largest corporations, NGOs, academics and government leaders to share the business case for sustainability.
In a first for a facility of its type, the entire building will be lit exclusively by low-energy solid-state (LED) lighting.
The company expects to open the sustainable distribution center in the fall of 2010 and is investing $115 million in its construction.
"We've set the ambitious goal of building the most sustainable distribution centre possible, while at the same time delivering a compelling return on investment," said Andy Ellis, senior VP supply chain for Walmart Canada.
Ellis said the facility will be a “living lab” that demonstrates sustainable operations, products and technologies, while showing that environmental sustainability can go hand-in-hand with business sustainability."