Wednesday, October 8, 2008
League of Municipalities and Wal-Mart Create “Green Future Grants”
Oct. 8, 2008 (TRENTON) --- Today, in New Brunswick, New Jersey League of Municipalities President Robert L. Bowser and the Mayors’ Committee for a Green Future announced a joint initiative with Wal-Mart to help New Jersey Municipalities “go green.”
The text of Mayor Bowser’s remarks follows.
Wal-Mart is about much more than producing corporate profits.
In October 2005, Wal-Mart announced it would implement several environmental measures to increase energy efficiency. The primary goals included increasing fuel efficiency in Wal-Mart’s truck fleet by 25% over three years and doubling it within ten, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 20% in seven years, reducing energy use at stores by 30%, and cutting solid waste from U.S. stores and Sam’s Clubs by 25% in three years. CEO Lee Scott said that Wal-Mart's goal was to be a "good steward for the environment" and ultimately use only renewable energy sources and produce zero waste. The company also designed three new experimental stores with wind turbines, photovoltaic solar panels, biofuel-capable boilers, water-cooled refrigerators, and xeriscape gardens. Wal-Mart also spent nearly a year working with outside consultants to discover the company's total environmental impact and find where they could improve. They discovered, for example, that by eliminating excess packaging on their toy line Kid Connection, they could save $2.4 million a year in shipping costs, 3,800 trees, and a million barrels of oil.
New Jersey local elected officials are about much more than scoring political points.
In July 2006, New Jersey mayors met in Highland Park to outline a plan to “go green” by implementing environmentally responsible policies and procedures statewide. The new “Committee on a Green Future” was formed under the auspices of the New Jersey State League of Municipalities, with the help of the Center for Green Building at Rutgers University. The Committee provides mayors and municipal officials with up-to-date information on the latest sustainable technologies and green programs, as well as educational and technical support. Mayors from around the state share experiences and discuss the viability of alternative sources of energy, green purchasing, hybrid vehicles and clean water technologies. At the first meeting of the Committee, mayors also were asked to join a purchasing cooperative aimed at saving both costs and the environment.
And now, in October 2008, the two come together. Wal-Mart will be supporting the Mayors’ Committee for a Green Future’s “Green Future Grants” program. The program will provide funding to New Jersey municipalities that are committed to instituting greening initiatives designed to improve the quality of life for residents while stressing the importance of sustainability. Wal-Mart will generously contribute $200,000 towards the grant program in the first year.
I want to compliment the folks at Wal-Mart for caring about municipal environmental leadership, for good corporate citizenship and for the incredibly generous support that it is giving to this important project.
For further information contact: William G. Dressel, Jr., Executive Director at (609)695-3481, extension 122 or 609-915-9072.