WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today Andrew Ruben, Wal-Mart vice president for corporate strategy and sustainability, took part in the Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources’ day-long conference focusing on potential steps to control U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. This roundtable discussion was a bipartisan effort to seek solutions to the issue of climate change in this country. Business leaders, advocacy groups and others participated in this multifaceted group.
As the world’s largest retail company, the largest private consumer of electricity in the U.S. and the owner of one of the largest private heavy-duty truck fleets in this country, Wal-Mart has an especially keen interest in the Committee’s environmental work. In 2005, the company announced that sustainability would be at the core of its corporate mission.
“We don’t believe we can separate environmental concerns from business concerns,” said Ruben. “Environmental threats are challenges for our businesses just as they are for our communities, our Associates and our customers.”
Wal-Mart, without waiting for further study or legal mandate, has already taken strong action to reduce its own greenhouse gas emissions. A few steps the company is taking include:
• Elimination of 30 percent of the energy used by stores, with the corporate goal of eventually being fueled 100 percent by renewable energy;
• Elimination of 25 percent of the solid waste from U.S. stores in the next three years, with the corporate goal of producing zero waste;
• Increased efficiency of its truck fleet by 25 percent over the next three years, with efficiency doubled within 10 years; and
• Except in the North, Wal-Mart utilizes white reflective roof membranes, resulting in a 10 percent lower cooling load.
Ruben also made it clear that he expects the company’s environmental stewardship will prove beneficial to its bottom line and the consumer. “We believe that this is good business. We are proving that we can reduce greenhouse gas emissions while adding return for our shareholders and providing value to our customers.”
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates Wal-Mart Stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets and SAM’S CLUB locations in the United States. Internationally, the company operates in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Puerto Rico, South Korea and the United Kingdom. The company’s securities are listed on the New York and Pacific stock exchanges under the symbol WMT. More information about Wal-Mart can be found by visiting www.walmartfacts.com. Online merchandise sales are available at www.walmart.com.