Raleigh, NC– Environmental organizations from North Carolina are calling on Walmart to commit to installing solar panels on all its viable roofs and parking lots by 2035 in a letter released Friday. NC Interfaith Power and Light, Environment North Carolina Research and Policy Center, NC WARN, Appalachian Voices, Clean Cape Fear, and NC League of Conservation Voters were among those that signed a letter sent to the retail giant Friday pushing for this action.
“Walmart became the world’s largest retailer by making strategic and innovative investments,” said Environment North Carolina Research and Policy Center Advocate Krista Early. “A commitment to go big on solar would be right in line with that track record. With its big roofs and big sustainability goals, Walmart could set a shining example to the rest of the retail sector by committing to generate solar energy on all of its U.S. locations.”
The letter, addressed to CEO Doug McMillon, identifies that big box stores can and should play a key role in reducing global warming pollution by transitioning to 100% renewable energy. It celebrates Walmart’s environmental accomplishments as a good start, but calls on the company to fully utilize its ample roofs and parking lots to produce solar energy.
The North Carolina groups joined 144 other organizations from 41 unique states and the District of Columbia.
“It’s encouraging to see such a broad coalition of groups calling for commonsense clean energy solutions,” said Wade Wilson, Go Solar associate with Environment America. “Installing solar on superstores like Walmart would be a win for the environment, a win for consumers, and a win for businesses.”
According to a 2016 report from Environment America Research and Policy Center, the roofs of North Carolina’s big box stores can generate 2,286 megawatts of solar photovoltaic capacity, enough to power 258 thousand average homes and offset 2,225 metric tons of global warming pollution.
"The data clearly show the amazing potential of on-site solar generation at North Carolina’s big box stores,” said Early. “Walmart has been a leader in sustainability under McMillon’s management. By installing solar panels on its roofs and parking lots, Walmart would cement its status as an environmental champion and make North Carolina an even better place to live.”