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Walmart unveils sustainable commitments in global meeting

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Bentonville, Ark. — In its Global Sustainability Milestone Meeting on Monday, Walmart announced new commitments the retailer says will dramatically increase energy efficiency and renewables, and hasten its path toward being 100% supplied by renewable energy.

Walmart president and CEO Mike Duke outlined specific goals the company said it intends to achieve by Dec. 31, 2020:

  • Drive the production or procurement of 7 billion kWh of renewable energy globally every year, a 600% increase over 2010 levels;
  • Reduce the kWh/sq. ft. 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," said Duke. "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’s 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. Based on external estimates of projected energy costs and other factors, the two new commitments are anticipated to generate more than $1 billion annually in energy savings once fully implemented.

The company said it will also avoid 9 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."

In 2012, Walmart added nearly 100 renewable energy projects, bringing the total number of projects in operation worldwide to nearly 300 today. According to the Solar Energy Industry Association, it has more solar power capacity and number of systems than any other company in America.

In the U.S. alone, Walmart said it 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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Macy’s appeals latest ruling Martha Stewart-J.C. Penney dispute

BY Katherine Boccaccio

New York — Macy’s Inc. filed an appeal on Monday, challenging Manhattan state court judge Jeffrey Oing’s Friday ruling that J.C. Penney can sell unbranded Martha Stewart goods in its stores, at least temporarily.

Penney was celebrating the decision that would allow it to sell Martha Stewart items as long as they didn’t carry her name, especially since the products – valued by one analyst at $100 million — were already manufactured and being stored in warehouses.

In the Monday appeal, Macy’s claimed that Oing "erred in several significant respects." Previously, Oing had barred Penney from selling the disputed goods under a Martha Stewart label. His ruling on Friday denied a request by Macy’s to expand that ban to include products that would be branded "JCP Everyday.

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Survey: Consumers loyal to brands that create social media experience

BY Katherine Boccaccio

New York — Survey results released Tuesday by Analytic Partners found that 48% of people between the ages of 18-44 feel that any loyalty they have toward brands in the future will have to stem from the types of experiences the brands create for them.

The experience includes interaction such as video/online gaming, social media and third-party expert information through blogs and articles.

"The general conclusion we can make from these findings is that … loyalty has become a two way street," said Nancy Smith, founder and CEO of Analytic Partners.

The survey also found that 66% of consumers are shopping online using mass market sites like Amazon and Walmart.com, and despite the ease of comparison price shopping, they feel loyal to the brands they buy (63%) on these sites. Consequently the determining factor for this lies within the reviews — 75% feel that the reviews they read online play a major role in the purchases they make.

Of those surveyed, female consumers (68%) are generally more loyal to brands than males (55%). Results also indicated that consumers living in the south are the most loyal to the brands they buy (67%), while those living on the west coast are the least loyal (56%).

While fair pricing and excellent customer service are top of mind for most consumers, the baby boomer generation (ages 49-67) care more than any other age demographic that brands should be transparent about how their products are made (80%).

"As e-commerce continues to grow in popularity, new methods for consumer interaction are becoming a must for brands that want to strengthen retention and loyalty efforts," said Smith. "Therefore it’s become increasingly important for brands to look at their data holistically to analyze and develop new ways to meet and exceed consumers’ expectations.”

The survey polled 1,000 respondents, and was conducted by Opinion Research Corp.

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zindwager says:
Apr-17-2013 10:09 am

Well, it only shows that social media has a great impact on what brands we buy. Small business can rely on advertising their product and services in this social streaming. SO if you want to promote your business venture even selling yourself, i mean applying for job. Then, social media can be the best way to earn such income. In fact, experts say it is important to have a picture attached to your professional LinkedIn profile. Even elderly, non-white or "plain" people, who want to avoid being stereotyped by those who view their profile, are better off with a picture than without, according to specialists. A LinkedIn profile is important to be aggressive in today's professional community. Use an emergency cash to help pay for your professional photo shoot.

zindwager says:
Apr-17-2013 10:09 am

Well, it only shows that social media has a great impact on what brands we buy. Small business can rely on advertising their product and services in this social streaming. SO if you want to promote your business venture even selling yourself, i mean applying for job. Then, social media can be the best way to earn such income. In fact, experts say it is important to have a picture attached to your professional LinkedIn profile. Even elderly, non-white or "plain" people, who want to avoid being stereotyped by those who view their profile, are better off with a picture than without, according to specialists. A LinkedIn profile is important to be aggressive in today's professional community. Use an emergency cash to help pay for your professional photo shoot.

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