Walmart Canada stores mark Earth Hour with reduced lighting day-long

Company also readies stores for the rollout of fifth reduced summer lighting program

MISSISSAUGA, ON, March 24 /CNW/ - For a third consecutive year, Walmart Canada is marking Earth Hour in nearly all of its stores nationwide by reducing sales floor lighting day-long. The company is also preparing for the rollout of its fifth reduced summer lighting program that will see Walmart Canada stores nationwide reduce their sales floor lighting summer-long, when demand on the energy grid is at its highest.

"Our involvement in Earth Hour is symbolic of Walmart's wider commitment to reducing its environmental footprint," said Jim Thompson, Walmart Canada's Chief Operations Officer. "Looking at ways to reduce energy and waste from our business is part of the way we operate every day. We're taking bold steps within our business to achieve our ambitious sustainability goals while at the same time aggressively promoting environmental stewardship among our suppliers, customers and the business community at large."

Walmart is actively working towards three long-term sustainability goals globally and in Canada: 1. To produce zero waste; 2. To be powered 100 per cent by renewable energy; and 3. To sell products that sustain people and the environment.

Reducing lighting is just one of the many ways that Walmart Canada is minimizing its environmental footprint in the energy area. The company is about to complete its program to change nearly all of its 1.75 million light bulbs to lower wattage bulbs and has switched exterior building signage to LED lights, which require significantly less energy than traditional fluorescent lighting.

The company is also building more energy-efficient stores and distribution centres. In 2009, Walmart Canada opened its first environmental demonstration store in Burlington, Ontario, which uses an estimated 60 per cent less energy than the company's typical supercentre format because of geothermal technology and energy-conserving lighting innovations, among many other sustainable features. All of the company's new stores are high-efficiency formats and use 30 per cent less energy than previous prototypes. The company's new refrigerated distribution centre, to be completed in the fall, will be an estimated 60 per cent more energy-efficient than the company's traditional refrigerated distribution centres and uses only LED lights.

At the same time as it reduces energy, Walmart Canada is also broadening its use of renewable energy. The company is piloting the use of solar, wind and geothermal energy at its stores and distribution centres and has become the largest purchaser of emissions-free power through Bullfrog Power.

About Walmart Canada

Headquartered in Mississauga, Ontario, Walmart Canada operates 317 retail outlets nationwide and serves more than one million customers daily. The company's vision is to demonstrate environmental leadership by reducing the ecological impact of its operations through company-wide programs focused on waste, energy and products, as well as outreach programs that preserve and enhance local environments. Walmart's global goal is to generate zero waste, to be powered 100 percent by renewable energy and to sell products that sustain people and the environment.

For further information: Karin Campbell, manager of corporate affairs, Walmart Canada, (905) 821-2111 x4042