A green revolution is taking place at Walmart

Photo courtesy of Crawfishpie at Flickr.com.

In Las Vegas, Walmart is opening a new type of energy-saving store. According to company sources, stores like this one will serve as testbeds for ecofriendly technology. Over the next couple years, the big box retailer hopes to incorporate the features that work into all of its locations.

Wal-Mart has said it is the biggest private user of electricity in the world and has huge potential to cut back on greenhouse gases from fossil fuels burned to create electricity. It aims to use technologies proven in the pilot stores to develop a prototype in 2009 for all new Supercenters that will be between 25 percent and 30 percent more energy efficient.

Photo courtesy of thegreenpages at Flickr.com.

The two previous testing sites (in McKinney, Texas, and Aurora, Colorado) are still open for business and doing well. They showcase a variety of innovations, from solar panels on the roof to water permeable concrete in the parking lot. I toured the one in McKinney and was impressed by the complete package. There are a lot of small design features that add up and complement each other.

One thing about Walmart – if there’s a way to pinch pennies, the company will do whatever it takes to embrace those savings. It probably doesn’t hurt that the PR of opening green stores makes Walmart look less evil.

The rollout of clean technology is just getting started, and hopefully we’re going to see more and more businesses embrace cleantech to get an edge in the marketplace.

Photo courtesy of ryanbooth at Flickr.com.