CEO to municipal leaders: Wal-Mart will be "among the greenest stores on
MISSISSAUGA, ON, Aug. 26 /CNW/ - Wal-Mart Canada President and CEO David
Cheesewright today addressed a gathering of 1,600 municipal leaders and
announced plans to cut energy use by more than 30 per cent in new Wal-Mart
stores opening in 2009.(*) The move addresses growing demands from Canadian
cities for energy-efficient buildings and helps the company in its pursuit of
aggressive sustainability goals - including becoming a zero-waste business,
powered by 100 per cent renewable energy.
Speaking to the annual conference of the Association of Municipalities of
Ontario, Cheesewright introduced details of the new "Wal-Mart HE," a
high-efficiency design for stores with various environmentally preferable
features and operations, including the following:
- Capturing waste heat from refrigerators to heat air in other areas of
- Eliminating the many wasteful ways frozen foods have traditionally
- Installing display lights that turn off and on based on customer-
- Cutting energy used to light sales floors by 20 per cent.
- LED lights in various applications, like store-front signs that use
90 per cent less energy.
- Incorporating low-flow water fixtures.
- Eliminating the need for constant heating, cooling and ventilation
through centralized control and in-store carbon-dioxide monitoring.
- Wiser use of construction materials, eliminating ceilings and
changing chemical-intensive flooring.
- Reducing the size of prototypical stores, whereby committing the
company to improved logistics and efficiencies - eliminating the cost
and the waste associated with building, operating, heating, cooling
and ventilating excess space.
"Wal-Mart Canada has been intensely dedicated to environmental
sustainability over the past three years," said Cheesewright. "Perhaps no
change has been as significant as those made to the way we build and operate
our buildings. And the changes are progressing. We are confident that Wal-Mart
stores will be among the greenest on the block."
As the company makes preparations for the rollout of Wal-Mart HE stores
beginning in early 2009, it is already looking to future innovation, including
plans for multiple environmental-demonstration stores. Among them is a store
in Burlington, Ontario, constructed with a rare commercial application of
geothermal heating and a daylight-harvesting system with lights that rise, dim
and turn off on the basis of brightness levels from skylights. The company is
also investing, in partnership with the Ontario government, to test new
made-in-Ontario solar technology on the roof of a store planned for 2009
Cheesewright addressed the close tie between environmental improvement
and business benefits. "Some might say we're just another company trying to
endear itself to the Canadian public by hopping on the green movement. That
perspective misses the point. Our focus on sustainability is as beneficial to
our business as it is to the environment. For Wal-Mart, there is no
distinction between environmental sustainability and business sustainability -
it's the same thing."
Wal-Mart continues to pursue three long-term sustainability goals
globally: 1. To produce zero waste; 2. To operate with 100 per cent renewable
energy; and, 3. To make more environmentally preferable products available to
Cheesewright highlighted a long list of activities underway to achieve
the global goals. "We've challenged suppliers to reduce their packaging and
will institute a scorecard to hold them accountable for their progress -
reducing waste, reducing cost. We've reconsidered shipping methods and routes
- reducing greenhouse gas and fuel use, reducing cost. We became the country's
largest commercial purchaser of green power - investing in an industry that
will help us achieve our energy goals. Our sustainable changes continue, as do
our business benefits."
The annual conference of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario is
the foremost educational forum for the province's municipal governments. A
priority topic for this year's conference is how energy management saves money
and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
Based in Mississauga, Ontario, Wal-Mart Canada operates a growing network
of 309 retail locations. For the current year, the company plans to construct
as many as 27 new, relocated or expanded stores. In late 2006 the company
introduced a new retail format to Canada, the Wal-Mart Supercentre, combining
the general merchandise and low-price-high-value principles of a traditional
Wal-Mart discount store, with the addition of a full grocery operation,
including fresh produce, meats and baked goods. Of 309 Wal-Mart locations
nationwide, 36 are Wal-Mart Supercentres in Ontario, Alberta and British
Each day, Wal-Mart Canada serves more than one million Canadians. With
77,000 associates, the company is the nation's fourth-largest employer.
(*)All stores constructed and most opening in Wal-Mart Canada's fiscal year
beginning February 1, 2009 will be Wal-Mart HE prototypes. Energy reductions
are expected to be 30 per cent or greater, based on benchmark modeling for
For further information:
For further information: Kevin Groh, Director, Corporate Affairs,
Wal-Mart Canada, w: (905) 821-2111, c: (416) 420-9893