Solar on Superstores campaign attracts diverse supporters

The organizations who signed our letter to Walmart demonstrate the wide-ranging benefits of installing solar panels at big box retail stores

最近, I began an effort to bring in organizations to support a campaign to get big box stores to put solar on roofs 和 parking lots. Going into it I knew Americans overwhelmingly supported solar energy. Solar is the most popular energy source out there, according to a recent Pew Research Center 民意调查. What I didn’t foresee was the extent to which a corporate campaign with a singular target could enlist broad support from a diverse group of organizations. 但 that’s what happened when Environment America Research & 政策中心 推出了 an initiative to get the retail giant Walmart to put solar panels on all of its viable roofs 和 parking lots by 2035. 

例如, a Southern conservation group, an Idaho-based nuclear watchdog 和 an international environmental advocacy giant don’t seem to have a lot in common at first glance. 然而, South Carolina Wildlife Federation, 蛇河联盟 Natural Resources Defense Council 大家都加入了我们的努力. Their presence on a sign-on letter calling on Walmart to act ― alongside 150个额外的组织 that span the environmental spectrum ― illustrates that this campaign 很明显 has broad appeal.

When it came to the sign-on letter,re were certain groups that were a clear fit. 这是有道理的 American Solar Energy Society 太阳能联合邻居 would join on: “Solar” is right there in the names! 也就是说, I didn’t anticipate the level of interest by groups who weren’t directly lobbying for more solar energy. 但, 很明显, if Walmart were to fully utilize its space for solar, groups see it as a huge win-win for everyone.


Sun beaming on the North Reading Walmart’s roof 和 parking lot

Walmart is the United States’ largest retailer 和 biggest employer. 根据一项 2016年的报告, 该公司可以产生5,844 megawatts of solar capacity, 足够重新启动660,000 average American homes with clean renewable energy. Among the many positives Walmart could bring to the table by embracing our efforts: Rooftop solar is good for the grid 和 electricity consumers 和 it significantly reduces energy losses from transmission. 除此之外, Walmart – 和 any big box store that went solar – would benefit from reduced electricity bills. 每一个报告, “electricity produced by rooftop panels on the nation’s big box stores 和 shopping centers could offset the annual electricity use of these buildings by 42 percent, 为这些企业节省8美元.2 billion annually on their electricity bills.”

Along with these groups generally being committed to a variety of issues (from clean energy 和 conservation to social justice), those who signed on also reflected a diverse geography. Forty-one states 和 District of Columbia are represented on the letter. These range from such highly populated states as New York 和 Texas to sparser locales like Iowa 和 Maine. There are bright red states like Wyoming 和 Indiana, deep blue states like Oregon 和 Illinois, 和 states in between like Pennsylvania 和 North Carolina.

The biggest takeaway from the letter’s participants is that ourSolar on Superstores campaign has broad appeal. Big box stores are common in the U.S. ― 90% of Americans live within 10 miles of a Walmart location. 但 even the 10% of the population not in proximity to the world’s largest retailer would benefit from the company committing to on-site solar energy at all of its stores through reduced global warming emissions that will come from replacing fossil fuels with solar energy. The coalition of groups supporting our campaign recognizes that. You can add your voice to the cause by signing our 请愿书去沃尔玛.