This year, Wal-Mart Canada will begin to roll out prototypical stores that are 30 per cent more energy efficient. The new Burlington supercentre is expected to use an estimated 60 per cent less energy than the company’s typical supercentre store and to reduce carbon emissions by an estimated 141 tonnes. It is also expected to divert an estimated 85 per cent of its waste from landfill through a variety of recycling programs.

“We’re determined to build the greenest stores on the block, and our Burlington store puts us one step closer,” said David Cheesewright, Wal-Mart Canada’s president and CEO. “We remain committed to being green, not only for the good of the environment, but for the long-term sustainability of our business. There’s a tremendous opportunity to reduce our construction and operating costs and to pass those savings on to our customers, who are looking for lower prices now more than ever.”

“Wal-Mart continues to show its commitment to energy efficiency, renewable energy and environmental sustainability,” said Peter Love, Ontario’s Chief Energy Conservation Officer. “Demonstration stores like this one prove that conservation and comfort can be brought together for the benefit of shoppers and employees.”

Energy Efficiency

The environmental demonstration store includes the following energy efficient operations and features:

First-of-its-kind demonstration of geothermal heating and cooling technology in a large-scale Canadian retail operation – facilitated by 15 km of piping buried under parking lot

Daylight harvesting system using skylights to refract daylight throughout the store; light sensors monitor the amount of natural light available and rise, dim or turn off lighting as needed

Store is powered 100% by renewable power sources like wind and low-impact water power through Bullfrog Power

In-floor radiant heating and cooling system circulates water to transfer heat and cold instead of air vents, requiring less electricity

Environmentally preferable CO2 refrigeration system

Heat from refrigeration system captured and reused to heat store

Energy-saving motion-activated LED lights in refrigerator and freezer cases reduces energy use

Low-wattage parking lot lights as well as LED external signs reduce energy use

White roof membrane deflects sunlight by an estimated 85 per cent to reduce heat gain in summer and demand on the electrical grid

Increased insulation on the roof reduces heat and cooling loss

Other Sustainable Features

Low flow sinks, toilets and urinals

Concrete floors, instead of carpet or tile, reduce excess materials and the need for harsh chemical cleaning products

Close proximity to the Burlington GO train station and municipal bus system allows for easy access to store by public transit


Environmental sustainability was also an important part of the construction phase. Up to 75 per cent of the store’s construction waste was diverted from landfill and the entire construction phase was powered by renewable power sources through Bullfrog Power. The store was also built using recycled, locally-sourced and low- or zero-VOC materials.

Waste Diversion

The Burlington environmental demonstration store has multiple waste diversion streams including paper, plastic and organics. One innovative diversion program recycles the store’s polystyrene waste into fire-resistant insulation used for commercial building. The store has a first-of-its-kind customer recycling centre including streams for plastic bags and CFL light bulbs.

Environmentally Preferable Products

The store offers customers hundreds of environmentally preferable products ranging from organic produce, dry groceries and dairy to environmentally preferable cleaning products and paper products.

Wal-Mart Canada has three long-term environmental sustainability goals:

To be 100 per cent supplied by renewable energy;

To produce zero waste;

To provide environmentally friendly products to customers.