STORE SPACES

Renewable energy usage a competitive advantage for Walmart

BY Mike Troy

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.

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News

A big data solution to deal with social media noise

BY CSA STAFF

The torrent of customer feedback unleashed by e-commerce and social media is a good thing, as long as companies are able to mine the data to identify problems and improve operations.

To help retailers and consumer packaged goods companies address that challenge Empathica, a customer experience management solutions provider, and Semantria, a provider of multi-lingual text analytics, have joined forces to offer new natural language processing capabilities.

With the help of Semantria, Empathica has integrated natural language processing (NLP) capabilities into its customer experience management solutions, allowing brands to analyze sentiment and frequency of unstructured text feedback alongside structured survey feedback. With all feedback on one platform, brands and location managers have access to a previously untapped source of actionable insights that can be used to deliver better customer experiences.

"With advanced text analytics software, our platform now enables brands to extract specific insights from customer comments such as social media recommendations, online reviews and call center transcriptions, and turn these insights into the direct actions that can positively influence the customer experience they deliver," said Simon Palmer, chief technology officer at Empathica. "We also made it our mandate to surface these powerful capabilities through simple to use applications tuned to the needs of the various users of our programs."

Semantria leverages the volume of knowledge from Wikipedia to automatically categorize text content without the required up front configuration required by other text analytics tools. For brands, this means instant access to the power of the world’s largest thesaurus, removing the need for the time consuming configuration and tuning of custom dictionaries and databases of terms and phrases. The Semantria platform additionally allows customized taxonomies of topics which can be overlaid on top of the standard terms.  Empathica has leveraged its extensive experience in key verticals to provide deeply specialized additions to the taxonomies to make an industry leading library of semantic meaning available to our clients.

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OPERATIONS

Amazon launches online health, wellness store

BY Antoinette Alexander

Seattle — Online retailer Amazon has launched its 50+ Active and Healthy Living Store, which features hundreds of thousands of nutrition, wellness, exercise and fitness, medical, personal care, beauty, entertainment items and more — all in a single destination for customers in the 50+ age range.

The store, located at Amazon.com/50ActiveLiving, will feature detailed product information, images, customer reviews, best sellers, recommendations and a Resource Center with tips on beauty, healthy eating, caregiving and various other topics to help customers discover products that are right for them.

"We’re excited to offer customers in the 50+ age range a place to easily discover hundreds of thousands of items that promote active and healthy living. This is a destination where a customer can purchase anything from vitamins and blood pressure monitors to skin care items and books on traveling the world," stated Chance Wales, director of beauty and health and personal care for Amazon. "Our goal is to offer great prices on a vast selection of items and a robust Resource Center filled with tips on everything from boosting brain power to care-giving."

Visitors to Amazon’s 50+ Active and Healthy Living Store will find a selection of items in the following categories:

  • Nutrition & Wellness: Vitamins and supplements, nutritional drinks and bars, etc.;
  • Exercise & Fitness: Activity monitors, videos on active living, exercise equipment, athletic apparel, etc.;
  • Health Care: Diabetes-management items, OTC medicines, first aid items, etc.;
  • Medical Supplies: Blood-pressure monitors, daily living aids, mobility aids, etc.;
  • Incontinence: Briefs and underwear, pads and guards, cleansers, furniture protection, etc.;
  • Personal Care: Men’s grooming needs, oral care, hair loss items, feminine care, etc.;
  • Beauty: Skin care, bath and body items, fragrance, cosmetics, etc.;
  • Travel & Leisure: Travel guides, travel bags, toiletries, etc.; and
  • Entertainment: Books, audio books, video, etc.
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J.Lee says:
Apr-28-2013 11:17 am

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J.Lee says:
Apr-28-2013 11:17 am

To promote and repair the worst health condition in the country we have found the experts and health organization are liable to take beneficial steps such as here we can found online health and wellness store that provides online facilities to get better and affordable health care facilities. urgent care Houston

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