Walmart is making significant leaps in renewable energy adoption since joining the fight against carbon-based fuels. While the company’s efforts did not start recently, it announced a renewed commitment to achieving its previously set renewable energy goals. A cumulative energy report from the company shows that renewable energy contributes 30% of total energy production. However, the company expressed that its goal is to rely on renewable energy entirely by 2035.
Walmart’s Chief Sustainability Officer Kathleen McLaughlin explains that most of its renewable energy prospects are attainable through Power Purchase Arrangements (PPAs). These are provisions where Walmart dictates a supplier’s purchase options by encouraging them to buy into green energy prospects. This practice has helped the company to realize substantial savings of up to 1.2 gigawatts of power from 2018 to 2019. This outcome is massively comparable to results from the U.S solar industry that successfully installed 3.62 gigawatts of photovoltaic generation cells in the first four months of 2020.
However, the company’s renewable energy efforts do not stop there. Walmart plans to trim down its supply chain, releasing carbon emissions by 1-gigaton come 2030. The plan is a projection nicknamed project gigaton. Walmart plans to roll out this newly tested project to its suppliers, enabling them to group together and by renewable energy. The project has advantages because it allows small players to join with substantial parties and still benefit from buying massive amounts of renewable power at low costs. Currently, Walmart has managed to convince 100 corporate bodies into this scheme.
According to McLaughlin, the initiative comes as a relief to the suppliers as they were continually searching for ways of contributing toward preserving the environment. Walmart’s efforts in the Gigaton PPA arrangement process allowed these companies to come together and take advantage of Walmart’s procurement team. She states that the company is glad that minor companies use the Gigaton project to join efforts towards decarbonizing the supply chain.
Similar styled projects include UK-based energy company Ripple Energy that integrated a system that assists local business entities and collectively purchases renewable energy. Ripple energy uses a different system by enabling individual companies to buy shares and a prospective company focusing on providing renewable energy. Once completed, the prospect hopes to set up her integrated system to supply renewable energy to homes.
For a long time, prospects in renewable energy were perceived as massive and unattainable. However, the venture in micromanaging renewable energy sources by large-scale retail entities like Walmart and ripple energy helps to deconstruct this hurdle, ensuring efficient green energy adoption.