Recently, I started a campaign to get organizations to support a campaign to get large-box stores to install solar panels on their roofs and parking lots. I knew that Americans strongly supported solar energy before I began. According to a Pew Research Center report, solar energy is the most popular form of energy. Poll. I did not anticipate the extent to which a corporate campaign that had a single target could garner broad support from a wide range of organizations. That’s exactly what happened when Environment America Research & Policy Center launched a campaign to get Walmart to install solar panels on all its roofs and parking lots by 2035.
A Southern conservation group and an Idaho-based watchdog for nuclear safety are not likely to have much in common. But, there are some important differences. South Carolina Wildlife FederationThe Snake River AllianceThe Natural Resources Defense CouncilThey all supported our effort. Their presence on a sign on letter requesting Walmart to act alongside 150 more organizationsThese campaigns have broad appeal across the entire environmental spectrum.
Sign-on letters were not for everyone. It made sense, therefore, that the American Solar Energy SocietyAnd Solar United NeighborsI would be happy to join in: Solar is right there! I did not expect the level of interest shown by groups that weren’t directly lobbying to increase solar energy. However, it is clear that groups would see Walmart’s solar space as a win-win situation for everyone if it was fully utilized.
Walmart is America’s largest retailer and largest employer. According to a 2016 report, the company could produce 5,844 megawatts solar power, enough to power 660,000 homes in America. Walmart could bring many benefits to the table if it embraces our efforts. Rooftop Solar is good for the grid, electricity consumers, and it significantly lowers energy losses from transmission. Walmart and all big-box stores that go solar will see lower electricity bills. According to the report, the annual electricity consumption of these buildings could be offset by electricity produced by rooftop solar panels. This would save these businesses an estimated $8.2 billion annually in electricity bills.
These groups were generally committed to a variety issues, from clean energy conservation to social justice. The signatories also represented a diverse geographic area. The letter is signed by 41 states and District of Columbia. These include densely populated states like New York and Texas, as well as smaller places like Iowa and Maine. There are bright red states such as Wyoming and Indiana, and deep blue states like Oregon, Illinois, and states in the middle like Pennsylvania and North Carolina.
The most important takeaway from the letters is that ourSolar onSuperstores campaign has wide appeal. The U.S. is home to many big box stores. 90%Walmart locations are within 10 miles for most Americans. Walmart could benefit even those who live outside the reach of the largest retailer in the world by committing to use on-site solar energy in all its stores to reduce global warming emissions. This is what the coalition of groups supporting our campaign acknowledges. Sign our petition to join the cause. Petition to Walmart.