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Walmart invests in energy innovation

Walmart has committed to introducing more innovative eco-friendly technology systems across its property estate in the coming years.

The US grocery company has said it will double the number of its on-site solar energy projects by 2020, in an investment that covers its US stores, Sam's Clubs and distribution centres. On a global scale, Walmart is looking to drive the production or procurement of 7 billion kWh of renewable energy by the end of 2020 – and the latest announcement is set to help the business meet this target.

Details of the solar energy technology investment were publicised at an event with Barack Obama, on Friday, which saw the US president visit Walmart's solar-powered store in Mountain View, California. The store in question currently derives 14.5% of its energy from solar systems built and installed by Californian solar business, SolarCity.

Last week's announcement also came as Walmart signed on to the US Department of Energy's Better Buildings Initiative, which is part of the retailer's strategy to reduce the energy intensity of its buildings by 20% by 2020, compared to a 2010 baseline.

Bill Simon, president and CEO of Walmart US, commented: "We share the president's commitment to a sustainable energy future and applaud his willingness to partner with business on this important issue.

"We know from experience that investing in energy innovation allows us to save money, reduce carbon pollution, and create jobs."

Walmart's ultimate goal is to be supplied by 100% renewable energy, and the investment in green technology brings bottom-line business benefits, too, with the company's 2020 commitments to scale renewables and accelerate energy efficiency set to save the organisation $1 billion a year in energy costs. 

Later this week will see Walmart announce its first-quarter results, with its UK grocery business Asda also set to reveal recent sales activity.