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Walmart and Denver Zoo Share Renewable Energy Resources for a Sustainable Future

Retailer donates six microturbines from Aurora Supercenter to Denver Zoo to further Zoo’s waste-to-energy system

DENVER (September 24, 2014) – Walmart donated six microturbines from its experimental store in Aurora to Denver Zoo on Wednesday, September 24, 2014 to help further their waste-to-energy system, which is a unique process that will convert the zoo’s animal waste and human trash into usable energy and heat. Walmart has been utilizing the 6 x 12 x 3 energy generating units since 2005 as an experimental project to gain understanding of the thermal vs. electrical base loading of their buildings, as well as how co-generation might work on a Walmart store in the future.

“Through the sharing of renewable energy resources with innovative organizations like Denver Zoo, we are maximizing the benefit and working together toward a sustainable future,” said Manuel J. Gomez, Walmart vice president for sustainability. “We look forward to the positive impact the microturbines will serve for the Denver Zoo’s waste-to-energy system.”

Denver Zoo’s waste-to-energy system is a unique process that will convert the zoo’s animal waste and human trash into usable energy and heat. The microturbines will be a key element in this system, generating renewable energy to run the filters and pumps in the zoo’s 10-acre Toyota Elephant Passage exhibit, and provide heat to endangered Asian species such as Asian elephants, greater one-horned rhinos and Malayan tapirs. Integration of the microturbine technology used in Denver Zoo’s waste-to-energy technology has been generously funded by Encana.

“This is a key step in our goal to become a zero-waste facility by 2025 and continue our role as an international sustainability leader,” said George Pond, Denver Zoo Vice President of Design and Campus Management. “We’re excited to partner with Walmart, another leader in the area of sustainability, for the benefit of our local community.”

Denver Zoo has long been recognized for its sustainability practices, which include its Sustainable Management System (SMS), a system that provides an institutional-wide frame-work to identify, implement, measure, report and continually improve operations to reduce the Zoo’s environmental impact. Denver Zoo was also the first zoo in the country to receive ISO 14001 certification for all of its operations. The certification commits the zoo to the highest environmental standards and requires regular independent outside audits to ensure consistent benchmarking and improvement. Because of these and many other efforts, in 2011, Denver Zoo was awarded The Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) first “Green Award,” ranking it as the greenest zoo in the country for its outstanding sustainability practices.

Walmart donated these microturbines, which are valued at approximately $1.2 million, because they present a great opportunity for the Zoo as an organization already active in the renewable energy or co-generation space. The Zoo has a dedicated team of people with knowledge and experience that can operate and maintain the equipment.

Environmental sustainability has become an essential ingredient to doing business responsibly and successfully. For additional information about Walmart’s environmental sustainability goals, please visit http://corporate.walmart.com/global-responsibility/environmental-sustainability.

About Walmart 

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better – anytime and anywhere – in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices. Each week, more than 245 million customers and members visit our almost 11,000 stores under 71 banners in 27 countries and ecommerce websites in 10 countries. With fiscal year 2014 sales of over $473 billion, Walmart employs more than 2 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting http://corporate.walmart.com on Facebook at http://facebook.com/walmart and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/walmart. Online merchandise sales are available at http://www.walmart.com and http://www.samsclub.com.  

About Denver Zoo
Denver Zoo is home to 4,000 animals representing more than 600 species and is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). AZA accreditation assures the highest standards of animal care. Denver Zoo is funded in part by the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD), a unique funding source serving hundreds of metro Denver arts, culture, and scientific organizations. A leader in environmental action, Denver Zoo is dedicated to ensuring the safety of the environment in support of all species and is the first U.S. zoo to receive ISO 14001 certification for the entire facility and operations. This international certification ensures the zoo is attaining the highest environmental standards. Since 1996, Denver Zoo has participated in 594 conservation projects in 62 countries on all seven continents. In 2012 alone, Denver Zoo participated in 98 projects in 18 countries and more than $1 million in funds was spent by the zoo in support of animal conservation in the field.