I agree with Matthew when it comes to Sam's Club and Walmart. The plight of small business and localization is suppressed by these mega-corporations. But even still, the more they do right, the happier I am to hear it. And this is a good one. Sam's Club is the first retailer in the U.S. to install several micro wind turbines in its parking lots. The turbines are mounted on the light poles in a testing location in Palmdale, Calif. The Palmdale location was chosen because of the amount of wind in the area and Sam's hopes to provide 76,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of energy annually for the store. This would be enough energy to power more than six average American homes for a year.
Sam's Club has installed 17 micro wind turbine units in its parking lot that were supplied from DeerPath Energy, a renewable energy company from Marblehead, MA. Prior to this project the company already installed solar installations in 28 of its Walmart and Sam's Club locations as well as two fuel cell installations. Another wind turbine installation will be completed in early May in a Walmart store in Worchester, MA.
Matthew wrote a while back about Sam's Club "Home Efficiency Centers" in nine California stores. The efficieny centers feature Energy Star appliances, low flow toilets, and shower heads. Sam's also partnered with Borrego Solar Systems and BP Solar to provide customers information on solar power at in-store kiosks.
Additionally, Walmart took massive steps last year toward reducing their impact with their innovative and complex Sustainability Index. Brian wrote that according to Gunther's report in Big Money, that "[t]he giant retailer ($406 billion in revenues in 2008) is developing an ambitious, comprehensive, and fiendishly complex plan to measure the sustainability of every product it sells." Read more about it here.
More on Sam's Club and Walmart:
Wal-Mart Reports Its Global Carbon Emissions in 2009 Sustainability Report
Wal-Mart's Sustainability Summit: Greenwash it was Not
Interview With Raul Vazquez, CEO of Walmart.com