Renewable energy usage a competitive advantage for Walmart
New York — Walmart is eyeing greater energy efficiency and less reliance on fossil fuels as key drivers of its low cost, low price business model.
The company on Monday announced several new targets that are designed to put it further along the path to becoming supplied 100% by renewable energy and save an estimated $1 billion annually in energy costs. The company said it would drive the production or procurement of seven billion kWh of renewable energy globally every year, a 600 percent increase over 2010 levels while also reducing the kWh per square foot of energy intensity required to power Walmart’s buildings globally by 20% compared to 2010 levels.
"More than ever, we know that our goal to be supplied 100% by renewable energy is the right goal and that marrying up renewables with energy efficiency is especially powerful," Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., president and CEO Mike Duke said during a sustainability milestone meeting held at the company’s headquarters. "The math adds up pretty quickly – when we use less energy that’s less energy we have to buy, and that means less waste and more savings. These new commitments will make us a stronger business, and they’re great for our communities and the environment."
Walmart said its six-fold increase in renewable energy projects is expected to be equal to eliminating the need for roughly two U.S. fossil fuel power plants. If achieved, Walmart will be able to avoid nine million metric tons of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the equivalent of taking 1.5 million cars off the road, in effect halting the growth of GHG emissions from the company’s largest GHG source – energy used to power buildings – by 2020. For the first time, the company is projecting this GHG decrease even with significant anticipated growth in stores and sales.
"When I look at the future, energy costs may grow as much as twice as fast as our anticipated store and club growth," Duke said. "Finding cleaner and more affordable energy is important to our every day low cost business model and that makes it important to our customers’ pocketbooks. Our leadership in this area is something our customers can feel good about because the result is a cleaner environment. And savings we can pass on to them."
Already, the renewable energy Walmart buys either meets or beats non-renewable power prices and last year the company added nearly 100 renewable energy projects, bringing the total number of projects in operation worldwide to nearly 300.
In the U.S. alone, Walmart hopes to install solar power on at least 1,000 rooftops and facilities by 2020, a significant increase from just over 200 solar projects in operation or under development currently. In addition to onsite solar, the company will continue to develop projects in wind, fuel cells and other technologies. It will also procure offsite renewable energy from utility-scale projects, such as large wind projects, micro-hydro projects and geothermal.
In order to meet its energy efficiency goal between now and 2020, Walmart projects to increase LED usage in sales floor lighting, parking lots and other applications. Walmart will also focus on market-relevant scalable technologies, including high efficiency HVAC and refrigeration systems and sophisticated energy/building control systems.
Report: Apple taps Foster + Partners to update store design
New York — Apple has tapped Foster + Partners to refresh its store design, according to a report by Marketing.
The London-based architectural company has a history with Apple. It was hired by the late Steve Jobs to help design and create Apple’s new UFO-styled corporate headquarters, which is still under construction.
Bloomingdale’s and Me-Ality to roll out in-store sizing stations
New York — Digital sizing station company Me-Ality said Monday that Bloomingdale’s has partnered with Me-Ality to provide enhanced denim services by installing digital sizing stations in five Bloomingdale’s stores.
Designed to match shoppers with their best fits across a range of premium denim brands, the five Me-Ality sizing stations have been installed at Bloomingdale’s 59th Street (New York), Roosevelt Field Mall (New York), Chevy Chase (Md.), Santa Monica Place (Calif.), and South Coast Plaza (Calif.) locations. In 10 seconds, shoppers can take part in a complimentary, fully clothed size-matching session and receive their best fit in the premium denim styles sold at the luxury department store.
Me-Ality said it will now recommend denim styles sold at Bloomingdale’s both in-store and online, including J Brand, 7 For All Mankind, True Religion, Hudson, and Citizens of Humanity among others. This will be the first partnership bringing the Me-Ality experience to the department store environment.
Once scanned, customers receive a personalized shopping guide to help make more informed shopping decisions for their size and shape, as well as an online profile which acts as a virtual fit advisor.
"We are committed to exploring fit technology, and we view this partnership as an opportunity to enhance our customers’ in store shopping experience," said Anne Bridges, SVP Omnichannel technology & customer experience of Bloomingdale’s.