Walmart enlisted Wei Shao and Yinghuang Ji to unlock energy savings in its suppliers’ factories in China.
Shao and Ji started by visiting 11 factories in both the South and North of China. By talking to factory staff, they identified the most energy-intensive equipment, best practices in energy management and the challenges related to implementing efficiency projects. They interviewed over 20 energy service companies and independent experts to learn about the latest technologies and opportunities for energy efficiency.
Taking into account the diversity of Walmart’s suppliers in China, Shao and Ji synthesized five major energy efficiency opportunities related to motors, heat exchange, HVAC, lighting and power systems. Next, they analyzed the potential cost savings from these opportunities. If implemented across all Walmart’s factories in China, Shao and Ji’s recommendations could result in tens of millions of dollars in savings over the lifetime of the projects and reduce energy consumption by over half a billion kilowatt hours annually – a GHG reduction that is equal to taking 72,500 cars off the road each year.
To facilitate implementation of these recommendations, Shao and Ji developed a rollout plan and created a list of energy service companies for Walmart’s suppliers.
They estimated that Walmart’s suppliers could save tens of millions of dollars through energy efficiency efforts, and identified concrete steps for them to begin to achieve these savings.