The EPA yesterday released its quarterly rankings for renewable energy use and generation, revealing few surprises. Intel and Kohl's, long the top firms on the list, continue to hold first and second place, respectively on the overall list of green power users. Walmart, Whole Foods Market and Johnson & Johnson round out the top five in the list.
For Walmart, which three months ago was in 15th place on the list, the latest rankings represent a major leap forward. The company shot up to third place in this quarter's rankings, due in large part to its commitment to on-site renewable generation: The retailer went from 8 percent of gross power use generated from renewable energy sources in October 2011 to 28 percent in January 2012.
"Investing in renewable energy spurs innovation, provides jobs, helps protect the environment and reduces costs," Kim Saylors-Laster, Walmart's vice president of energy, said in a statement. "The green power achievements of our facilities in California and Texas support our long-term goal of being supplied by 100 percent renewable energy, and we will use our success in these regions as a model to expand our commitment to renewable energy throughout our operations."
The investment in on-site renewable generation also bumped Walmart up on the EPA's list of top 20 green power generators; last quarter, the company ranked fourth, with 1 percent of total energy coming from green sources, while in the latest rankings Walmart is in second place and generates 4 percent of its energy from renewables.
Kimberly-Clark held onto its spot as the top on-site generator of renewable energy, getting 8 percent of its overall power from green sources. Walmart holds second place, and BMW, the U.S. Air Force, and the city of San Francisco round out the top five.
The EPA also ranks companies that get 100 percent of their power from green sources. Kohl's tops this list, buying 98 percent of its energy, or 1.5 billion kilowatt-hours, from three suppliers: 3Degrees, Nexant and Sterling Planet. Kohl's generates 2 percent of its own energy on-site.
Whole Foods Market, the city of Austin, Texas, HSBC North America, and the U.S. EPA round out the top five of the green power purchasers list.
The top 20 green power users in the latest rankings are listed below. Full details are available from the EPA's website.
1. Intel Corporation
2. Kohl's Department Stores
3. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. / California and Texas Facilities
4. Whole Foods Market
5. Johnson & Johnson
6. City of Houston, TX
8. City of Austin, TX
10. Hilton Worldwide
11. HSBC North America
12. U.S. Department of Energy
13. City of Dallas, TX
14. Lockheed Martin Corporation
15. Cisco Systems, Inc.
16. U.S. Air Force
17. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
18. District of Columbia
19. TD Bank, N.A.
20. BNY Mellon
Editor's note: This article has been updated to correct the name of one of Kohl's green power suppliers, Sterling Planet.
Solar panel photo via Shutterstock.