Everyday Renewable Energy
Wal-mart, long the bogeyman of the left, is making one of their long-held dreams a reality: afordable green energy deployed on an industrial scale.
The roof of the Wal-mart in Mountain View, Calif. is covered with solar panels. Depending on the time of day they provide 15% of the power needed to run the store. Last year President Barack Obama stopped by here to give a speech about his energy plan. Standing before shelves flled with discount lightbulbs, Obama held up Wal-mart as an exemplar of corporate responsibility.
“A few years ago you decided to put solar panels on the roof of the store. You replaced some traditional lightbulbs with LEDS. You made refrigerator cases more efcient. And you even put in a charging station for electric vehicles,” said Obama. “More and more companies like Wal-mart are realizing that wasting less energy isn’t just good for the planet, it’s good for business. It’s good for the bottom line.”
And it’s great p.r. for a company that has been lambasted for a range of corporate sins, from low wages and deplorable working conditions to accusations of predatory pricing and monopolistic behavior (naturally they deny these things). But if Wal-mart’s energy initiative sometimes smells a little like greenwashing,
“We’re not in the sustainability business, we’re in real estate”: Wal-mart’s green
maven David ozment.