Walmart provides U.S. suppliers increased renewable energy access

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Walmart provides U.S. suppliers increased renewable energy access

By Dan Berthiaume - 09/10/2020

Walmart is entering a partnership to help remove carbon dioxide from its supply chain. 

The discount giant is collaborating with energy management and automation provider Schneider Electric in a new program designed to educate Walmart suppliers about renewable energy purchases and accelerate renewable energy adoption through aggregate power purchase agreements (PPA).

Known as the Gigaton PPA Program (GPPA), the initiative directly supports Walmart’s Project Gigaton, which aims to avoid one gigaton (one billion metric tons) of carbon dioxide from the retailer’s global value chain by 2030. 

The GPPA program works by educating participants on the renewable energy market, providing guidance on the projects and bringing together interested companies to contract for renewable energy as a cohort, leveraging the size of the group to achieve an economy of scale. Walmart will serve as the convening “champion” for the program, inviting suppliers to join.

Walmart is working with Schneider Electric’s Energy & Sustainability Services (ESS) subsidiary to run the GPPA program. The initiative is utilizing Schneider Electric’s NEO Network, a global collaboration platform and community of more than 300 corporate renewable energy purchasers and solution providers. Schneider Electric’s team of renewable energy experts will engage participating Walmart suppliers and facilitate a multi-phase education and project selection process to advance supplier progress towards the execution of aggregated renewable energy purchases. 

“The Gigaton PPA Program is the kind of innovation-in-action needed to help our suppliers take the next step towards low-carbon emissions, helping to build a more sustainable future for our communities,” said Zach Freeze, senior director, sustainability at Walmart. “Through Schneider Electric’s work with our suppliers, the program aims to democratize access to renewable energy and accelerate its use with our supplier base.”

“It is our honor to work with Walmart on this revolutionary program,” said Steve Wilhite, senior VP, Schneider Electric. “The company is demonstrating significant leadership by increasing access to utility-scale renewable energy opportunities for their suppliers as part of the Project Gigaton ambition. The GPPA program aims to bring a significant amount of new wind and solar to the grid at a time when climate action is most urgent.”

Walmart has also set an internal goal to be powered 50% by renewable energy by 2025, and currently the company powers an estimated 29% of its operations with renewable energy. Walmart and Schneider Electric are also members of the Renewable Energy Buyer’s Alliance, a coalition that brings together purchasers and suppliers of renewable energy to make the process of transitioning to cleaner energy sources easier.