First it was signage and then came the freezer case and parking lots. Now Walmart and GE are moving forward with their biggest lighting initiative to date.
The companies announced plans to use GE LED lights in ceiling fixtures in hundreds of stores throughout the U.S., Asia, Latin Amerian and the United Kingdom. The new fixtures use 40% less energy than traditional overhead lighting systems and move Walmart forward on its goal of reducing energy required to power its buildings globally by 20% by 2020. It is Walmart’s largest purchase of GE LED lighting to date.
“We have worked to find and scale energy-efficient LED lighting solutions that are cost effective and high quality, and now working with GE, we’re paving the way to make this a mainstream solution for the retail industry,” said Doug McMillon, president and CEO of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. “LEDs have become an integral part of our energy efficiency model for our stores and play a key role in achieving our overall sustainability goals. Just as important, the energy cost savings coming from these innovations will help us maintain the low prices our customers depend on us to provide.”
The move comes after Walmart experimented with a storewide LED lighting system at a supercenter in South Euclid, Ohio last fall and realized the potential to reduce energy use, expenses and its environmental footprint. With the main sales floor lighting representing approximately 90% of the total lighting usage in each building, usage of LED will reduce energy use per store by more than 5% in the U.S. alone and results in savings of $34,000 per store, according to the company. Other expense saving will be realized due to the fact that LEDs have a longer life span and less maintenance that traditional lighting fixtures.
“We’ve had a long and successful relationship with Walmart, increasing our environmental efforts together,” said Jeff Immelt, GE Chairman and CEO.
“A leader in seeking energy efficiency in the retail industry, Walmart’s energy-conscious focus allows the company to attain a substantial cost savings in electricity,” said Jeff Immelt, GE’s chairman and CEO. “We value our longstanding relationship with Walmart and are proud to work with them in reducing their environmental impact.”