STORE SPACES

Walmart ramps up renewable energy use

BY Marianne Wilson

Walmart is moving closer to its 2025 goal of being supplied globally with 50% renewable energy.

As a result of several new solar and wind projects, Walmart plans to more than double the amount of renewable energy it uses in the U.S. and increase the percentage of global electricity needs supplied by renewable sources above the current 28%.

The new initiatives include expansion of on-site solar energy installments. Walmart, already the leading company in the U.S. for number of locations utilizing on-site solar energy, plans to add an additional 130 sites which will bring its total to approximately 500 locations across 22 U.S. states and Puerto Rico, surpassing its 2014 goal to double its onsite solar use by 2020.

The discounter recently reached an agreement to acquire renewable energy that will enable the building of two new large-scale wind farms developed by Geronimo Energy and Engie. The 1.26 billion kWh produced annually from this arrangement will be used to power Walmart stores, Sam’s Clubs and distribution centers across seven Midwestern states.

The new wind energy deals come only weeks after the retailer announced that most of the renewable energy certificates (RECs) generated from a new solar farm in Alabama will supply 150 million kWh each year to the retailer, covering 40% of the company’s electricity needs in the Alabama Power service area.

Additionally, earlier this month Walmart announced that it had successfully collaborated with Google and Georgia Power on an initiative that will result in the retailer obtaining 182 million kWh of additional renewable energy annually. Once the new Georgia Power arrangement is operational, approximately 34% of Walmart’s power demand for its retail locations served by Georgia Power will come from the renewable sources in the program.

All together, these new solar and wind projects will provide over 1.6 billion kWh of renewable energy annually to Walmart, doubling the company’s renewable energy use in the U.S. and moving it closer towards its 2025 goal.

In related news, Walmart plans to more than double its EV charging station sites by adding several hundred charging stalls across its operations in 34 states. This expansion will bring Walmart’s total number of charging units to well over 1,000 when complete, creating a national grid of electric vehicle charging availability at hundreds of Walmart stores and Sam’s Club locations.

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Staples adds service to help customers get through airport screening faster

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Staples is setting up TSA PreCheck centers in its stores.

The retailer has teamed up with Idemia to open Idemia’s IdentoGO enrollment centers in 50 Staples stores nationwide this summer. IdentoGO is the exclusive provider of TSA Pre✓, a program that allows pre-vetted travelers to move through security more quickly and easily when departing airports in the United States.

Staples is one of the first national partners for IdentoGO. The retailer’s stores in the Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York and Seattle metro areas will be among the first to provide the service. IdentoGO Centers will also offer Staples’ customer’s passport photos and certified birth certificates.

“Staples constantly looks for new ways to help businesses succeed, including making it easy for them to travel,” said Peter Scala, chief merchandising officer, Staples. “This unique relationship with IdentoGO will let us offer our customers additional products and services that are impactful to their lives.”

Once approved for TSA Pre✓, travelers do not need to remove their shoes, liquids, laptops, belts and jackets as they go through security. The cost of enrollment in the program is $85 and is good for five years.

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Hot online mattress start-up reportedly opening stores in Canada

BY CSA Staff

Casper is preparing to put down some roots in the Great White North.

The digitally native brand is planning to open its first stores in Canada during the next 12 months, reported The Financial Post, with the first two locations opening this spring in Toronto.

Launched in 2014, Casper quickly developed a cult following for its mattress, which is made of memory and latex foams, and delivered in a box. The mattress, available in a variety of sizes, comes with a 100-day money-back trial. In September, Casper announced plans to open some 15 pop-up shops in cities across the U.S.

“The demand to experience our products in-person has continued to grow exponentially,” said Philip Krim, Casper co-founder and CEO in a statement in September. “Casper retail environments allow us to seamlessly traverse online and offline, which we believe is paramount to an exceptional customer journey.”

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