Initiative to reduce greenhouse gases by 17,000 tonnes of CO2
MISSISSAUGA, ON, Oct. 17 /CNW/ - Wal-Mart Canada today announced plans to
retrofit 1.75 million lights in its entire chain of 293 outlets with higher
efficiency bulbs, ensuring year-round energy reductions with no effect on
lighting quality in stores. The move follows Wal-Mart's summertime two-thirds
lighting program, in which store lights nationwide were dimmed by one third to
reduce energy use, summer smog, and store impacts on local power grids.
The retailer has already converted approximately half of its 293 stores
from 32-watt bulbs to a 25-watt alternative. Based on results to date, the
company estimates that converting all 1.75 million light bulbs in its stores
nationwide will reduce overall store electricity use by seven per cent; reduce
lighting-specific electricity use by more than 20 per cent; save the company
more than $5 million annually; and, by reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions
by 17,000 tonnes, have the equivalent effect of powering nearly 4,000 homes
emissions free, taking 1,700 cars off the road, or planting 51,000 trees.
The light-bulb retrofit program is part of Wal-Mart Canada's goal to
reduce its greenhouse-gas emissions by 19,000 tons of CO2 in 2007. In addition
to its two-thirds lighting program and bulb retrofitting in stores, Wal-Mart
Canada has replaced existing lighting in locations such as its external
"Wal-Mart" storefront signs and sales floor refrigerators with 90-per cent
more efficient light-emitting diode (LED) alternatives. The company has also
become the nation's largest commercial purchaser of green power; is
transitioning corporate fleet cars to hybrid vehicles; has created product
shipping strategies that substitute rail travel for road travel; and continues
to initiate programs with a variety of associated reductions in CO2 emissions.
While Wal-Mart Canada's transition from traditional 32-watt bulbs to
25-watt bulbs was initially limited to newly constructed stores, the company
quickly recognized impressive energy reductions as well as cost savings and
expects to complete the chain-wide roll out in 2008.
"As a company that measures every detail of our business very carefully,
we were amazed by the immediate environmental impact and the business benefits
from something as simple as switching light bulb wattage," said Ken Farrell,
Vice President, Store Development, Wal-Mart Canada Corp. "We're seeing huge
cuts to our energy consumption and cost savings of up to $12,000 a store, with
a return on investment of about one year. This is another example of the
marriage between environmental best practices and smart business."
Wal-Mart Canada has made higher efficiency lighting a pillar of its
overall effort to become a leader in sustainable retail. In addition to its
own operational lighting changes, the company has heavily promoted compact
fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) to Canadian customers. Wal-Mart Canada has
given higher profile to CFLs on store shelves, launched its own Energy Value
private-label brand of CFLs whereby dropping prices significantly, and
committed to selling 10 million CFLs this year - an ambitious goal it is on
track to meet.
"By switching to higher efficiency lights in our stores while asking
Canadians to do the same in their homes, we're putting our money where our
mouths are," said Farrell.
Wal-Mart Canada is investigating all areas of its business for
opportunities to initiate sustainable change. The company currently has 13
internal sustainability networks seeking change in categories like product
availability, shipping, packaging, materials, store construction and design,
and greenhouse gas reduction.
Wal-Mart has committed to three long-term sustainability goals, globally
and in Canada:
1. To produce zero waste;
2. To be powered 100 per cent by renewable energy; and,
3. To make more environmentally preferable products available to
Headquartered in Mississauga, Ontario, Wal-Mart Canada Corp. operates 293
outlets nationwide. The company's environmental vision is to demonstrate
leadership by reducing the ecological impact of its operations through
company-wide programs focused on waste, energy and products, as well as
outreach programs that preserve and enhance local environments.
For further information:
For further information: Andrew Pelletier, Vice President, Corporate
Affairs, Wal-Mart Canada, (905) 821-2111 x. 4585