In September 2010, Walmart de México y Centroamérica (Walmart Mexico) announced its commitment to have 100% of its energy from renewable sources, reduce its energy intensity, increase its recycling programs, and eliminate water polluting practices. Five years ahead, the multinational can be proud of making a great advancement in this direction, as 51% of its energy consumption in Mexico comes from renewables.
Walmart Mexico dipped into the world of renewable energies in 2010, when it began using electricity generated at the Lamatalaventosa wind farm, located in Oaxaca and operated by Eléctrica del Valle de México. More renewable sources were added to Walmart Mexico’s energy supply in 2013 when electricity from the Eoliatec del Istmo y del Pacífico wind farm was added to the company’s power mix. This is an 85MW wind farm operated by Electricidad de Francia. That same year Walmart Mexico also began off-talking from Comexhidro’s Electricidad del Golfo mini hydroelectric plant in Veracruz, which has a 30MW capacity. More wind power was added in 2014 from the Oaxaca-based Desarrollos Eólicos Mexicanos 137MW wind farm, which is operated by Spanish firm Renovalia Power Wind.
The energy generated form these three wind farms and mini hydroelectric plant cover the power demand of 1,114 stores, offices and distribution centers in Mexico. In total, the four plants generate more than 1,195GWh per year. In 2014 alone, Walmart Mexico’s use of renewable energy prevented more than 21,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases from being released into the atmosphere.
Although Walmart Mexico has a penchant for wind energy, solar power is not excluded at all from the company’s clean energy portfolio. In 2014, five Mexican Walmart stores were powered with solar panels. Manuel Gómez Peña, Director of Sustainability and Energy at Walmart Mexico y Centroamérica, has stated that he wants solar energy to be as competitive as possible so it can be implemented on a large scale.
Walmart Mexico has the goal of having 3,000GWh from renewable energy sources by 2020, the equivalent of Yucatan’s energy consumption in 2011. In addition, the company seeks to reduce its energy intensity by 20% from 2010 levels in that same year. To achieve this objective, Walmart Mexico will rely on the installation of LED lights in parking lots and indoor facilities and improving energy management systems and refrigeration equipment, among others.