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03/30/2022

Walmart follows Amazon, Target with planned net zero store

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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walmart Montreal
Walmart is bringing a net zero store to Montreal.

An eco-friendly Walmart Supercenter store is coming to Canada.

The discount giant is confirming a new, state-of-the-art 140,000-sq.-ft. Walmart Canada Supercenter with sustainable features, including a 125,000-sq-ft. green roof, is coming to the Marche Central shopping center in Montreal, Quebec.

Slated to open in summer 2023, the new Walmart Canada store will be situated in what will be the shopping venue’s sixth retail phase, situated on an adjacent 30 acres of land that has been opened by QuadReal Property Group for development. Target recently retrofitted its existing location in Vista, Calif., as its first net-zero energy store, which will serve as a testing site for sustainability-minded innovations.

On the same day, Amazon unveiled an Amazon Fresh store in the Seattle area with more than a dozen sustainable upgrades and features, for which it seeks to obtain net-zero carbon certification.

The new Walmart Canada location is part of the company’s investment in the Montreal market, which includes store remodels with a focus on sustainability. New features at the Walmart Marché Central Supercenter will include:

  • A natural refrigerant for store refrigeration with a transcritical CO2 system.
  • LED lighting with advanced lighting controls throughout the store, backroom and offices.
  • Ultra-low flow lavatories, urinals and water closets.
  • Recycled content within building materials and low volatile organic compound (VOC) finishes.

Walmart Canada’s sustainability plans for the store will complement those of QuadReal Property Group’s for the center, which include:

  • Implementation of rain gardens within the parking area to manage water on-site.
  • Revegetation of the site for the reduction of the “heat island” effect.
  • Prioritization of active travel methods via safe and continuous pedestrian courses, as well as the implementation of a cycling network.
  • Integration of additional electric vehicle charging stations.

The project also fits into stainability goals Walmart launched in September 2021, including a zero-emissions goal across the chain’s global operations by 2040. Walmart plans to take a number of steps to meet this target, including harvesting enough wind, solar and other renewable energy sources to power its facilities with 100% renewable energy by 2035. (As of September 2021, Walmart powers about 29% of its operations with renewable energy.)

Also by 2040, the chain plans to transition to low-impact refrigerants for cooling and electrified equipment for heating in its stores, warehouse clubs, and data and distribution centers, and to electrify and zero out emissions from all of its vehicles.

“Montreal is an extremely important market for us and we’re incredibly excited to be growing in Quebec and offering even more shopping options for our customers,” said Cyrille Ballereau, Walmart Canada regional VP for Quebec. “We are always listening to our customers and this investment shows we’re committed to providing the best service possible at our everyday low prices. More Quebecers are choosing to shop with us online via curbside pickup and this unique store design will allow our associates to better serve busy families to save them time and money. We’re also implementing several sustainability features because Walmart’s goal is to make as light a footprint on the planet as we can. We can’t wait to open this store next year as we continue to grow in Quebec.”

“We are thrilled to be adding Walmart Canada to our retail offering at Marché Central, especially a partner who shares QuadReal’s commitment to environmental responsibility through waste reduction, waste management and green roofs,” said Andy Clydesdale, executive VP, QuadReal Property Group. “Our goal with Marché Central’s Phase 6 expansion is to strengthen the value-oriented offering, enhance tenant synergies and solidify Marché Central’s dominant position in both Montreal and Canada. Walmart is central to that retail strategy.”

Walmart will hire approximately 300 associates to work at the Marché Central location and is investing approximately $20 million in the project.

Walmart operates 71 stores and employs more than 14,500 associates across the Canadian province of Quebec.