“By working together, we can help each other save money, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and pass the savings on to our customers. Sustainability is good for the environment, and it’s also good for business.”
I know. It may be a publicity thing. But I'm okay with that as long as it's producing results like this. Natural Resources Defense Council reports on Wal-Mart's plans to increase the efficiency of Wal-Mart's trucking fleet by 25 percent over the next three years and to double efficiency by 2015.
"...using more efficient tires, reducing drag by installing windshields and by narrowing the gap between cab and trailer, and offering incentives to drivers who follow fuel-saving acceleration techniques and drive at the most fuel-efficient speed (for large rigs, that's often just above 60 miles per hour). Improving Wal-Mart's fleet-wide efficiency by just a single mile per gallon could save the company $52 million a year."Someone smarter than me can do the math and report how may gallons of diesel and tons of carbon that represents.
From the US Department of Energy: Wal-Mart Launches Second Energy-Saving Store in Colorado.
The new store, located in Aurora, Colorado, draws some of its power from a 50-kilowatt wind turbine, 134 kilowatts of solar power, and six 60-kilowatt gas-fired microturbines. The store also incorporates evaporative cooling with a low-flow displacement ventilation system. For heating, waste-oil boilers provide hot water for radiant floor heating, and a solar wall preheats ventilation air, reducing the store's use of natural gas for heating. The store's energy efficiency features include daylighting and a variety of energy-efficient electric lighting technologies.
And from Wal-Mart's own site:
"...by reducing the size of the cardboard packaging on just one line of our own-brand toys last summer, we saved more than 5,000 trees and 1,300 barrels of oil that would have gone into making the packaging."
Yes, green practices make good business sense. This is one issue where the private sector can easily get ahead of government regulation. If Wal-Mart's doing it, can others be far behind?