Maryland organizations join letter calling on Walmart to Go Solar

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Josh Chetwynd

Groups join more than 140 other environmental organizations from across America encouraging the retail giant to commit to on-site solar energy generation

Environment Maryland Research & Policy Center

BALTIMORE Environmental organizations from Maryland are calling on Walmart to commit to installing solar panels on all its viable roofs and parking lots by 2035. Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Environment Maryland Research & Policy Center, Maryland Campaign for Environmental Human Rights, Audubon Society of Central Maryland, League of Women Voters of Montgomery County, and Indivisible Howard County 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 Wade Wilson, Environment Maryland Go Solar campaign associate. “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 locations in Maryland and nationwide.”

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 Maryland groups joined 148 other organizations from 40 other states and the District of Columbia. 

“It’s encouraging to see such a wide array of environmental groups united in this cause” said Katherine Jackson of Environment Maryland. “As a native Marylander, I am especially proud that so many local groups have rallied in our efforts to motivate Walmart to go solar. With renewable energy initiatives like these, Maryland will be closer to reaching its goals for greenhouse gas reduction.”

According to a 2016 report from Environment America Research and Policy Center, the roofs of Maryland’s big box stores can generate 1,386 megawatts of solar photovoltaic capacity, enough to power 148,000 average homes and offset 1,412 metric tons of global warming pollution. 

“The data clearly show the amazing potential of on-site solar generation at Maryland’s big box stores,” said Wilson. “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 Maryland an even better place to live.”