BENTONVILLE, Ark., and SANTIAGO, Chile — Walmart Inc. CEO Doug McMillon attended the grand opening of a green hydrogen plant at Walmart’s Quilicura Distribution Center in Santiago, Chile, representing the company’s continued investment in and commitment to renewable energy. Industrial-scale and renewable, the project was developed collaboratively with the generating company Engie. Once converted, the plant is the first of its kind in Latin America and will play a key role in Walmart Chile’s path to net-zero emissions.
Walmart Chile CEO Cristián Barrientos, Chile Minister of Finance Mario Marcel, Chile Minister of Energy Diego Pardow and Engie Chile Chief Corporate Affairs Officer Pablo Villarino joined McMillon for the event, recognizing the opening of the plant as a critical step in Walmart’s global commitment to become a regenerative and zero-emission company by 2040.
“We see tremendous potential for our business [and] want to expand the use of this technology to [all] distribution centers [in] the company’s logistics network throughout the country, with the aim of operating 100% with green hydrogen by 2025,” said Barrientos. “We are already exploring new uses in the area of transport and emergency services where we already have pilots in operation.”
In its first stage, the green hydrogen plant will allow the Quilicura Distribution Center to replace the lead-acid batteries of 200 forklift cranes with hydrogen energy cells, cutting 250 tons of toxic waste per year. Over the course of the 15-year project, Walmart expects it to reduce the release of CO2 into the atmosphere by 17,100 tons, the equivalent of planting 34,200 trees.
“Walmart first embraced the potential in hydrogen fuel in 2012, with a fleet of 50 vehicles and forklifts in the U.S., which we have since grown to over 9,500 forklifts,” said McMillon. “Now, with over a decade of experience and progress, Walmart is well-positioned to invest in Chile’s potential as a producer of clean energy, including green hydrogen.
Chile’s potential is tremendous. The Chilean government has made renewable energy a priority, and as a result, Chilean solar- and wind-power sectors have increased their generation capacity fivefold over the last few years, with up to 70% of the country’s electrical grid projected to be renewable-powered by 2030. This gives Chile a unique opportunity to develop a competitive green hydrogen industry powered by low-cost renewable resources, while driving a sustainable economy around it.”
Walmart has made impressive and meaningful advances toward its climate goals, like incorporating renewable sources through self-generation and the purchase of certified renewable energy. Today, 84% of Walmart Chile’s consumption currently comes from clean energy sources, and its over 390 facilities are on track to reach the goal of operating with 100% renewable energy well before our global commitment to do so by 2035.
“We’ve set a goal to become a regenerative company. A company that leaves things better than we found them,” McMillon said. “The energy transition our world needs isn’t an easy one, but by working together, we can do it.”
Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) is a people-led, tech-powered omnichannel retailer helping people save money and live better – anytime and anywhere – in stores, online, and through their mobile devices. Each week, approximately 240 million customers and members visit more than 10,500 stores and numerous eCommerce websites in 20 countries. With fiscal year 2023 revenue of $611 billion, Walmart employs approximately 2.1 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy, and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting corporate.walmart.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/walmart, on Twitter at twitter.com/walmart, and on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/company/walmart.
IMAGE (above): Picture taken at the grand opening of the green hydrogen plant at Walmart’s Quilicura Distribution Center in Santiago, Chile. Credit: Walmart.