by Mark Carter on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015 2:22 pm
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. of Bentonville is committed to renewable energy and has implemented measures to further reduce its energy footprint, the retailer’s vice president for energy told the Arkansas Advanced Energy Association on Tuesday.
Mark Vanderhelm, on the job for four months after previously managing renewables development for Exelon Corp. in Pennsylvania, provided the keynote for the AAEA’s fourth annual Empowering Arkansas meeting and policy conference.
The event was held at the DoubleTree Hotel in downtown Little Rock and included many of the state’s big players in clean energy.
Vanderhelm said Wal-Mart has committed to reducing its carbon footprint another 20 percent by 2020. In 2013, the company reduced its footprint by 20 percent from a 2005 baseline. Plus, he said the retail giant is “on path to being supplied 100 percent by renewable energy.”
Earlier this year, Wal-Mart was one of 13 major U.S. corporations that signed President Obama’s American Business Act on Climate Pledge.
Vanderhelm said Wal-Mart is beginning to expend “significant capital” in energy efficiency measures at its stores, including LED lighting on the sales floors and eventually in parking lots; replacing HVAC systems; installing white roofs (roofs painted with white solar reflective coating); and even recycling heat that comes off refrigeration units.
“We’re always looking for new technologies to structure around energy efficiency,” he said.
The AAEA’s morning session included panel discussions on Arkansas solar market expansion and advanced energy technology and services as compliance tools.
Also on Tuesday, the AAEA awarded its 2015 Ron Bell Advanced Leadership Award to Wally Nixon, former attorney for the Arkansas Public Service Commission, dubbed by the organization as the “father of advanced energy” in Arkansas.