[Part 3 of a series of posts from ICSC’s RetailGreen conference.]

Last year, at ICSC’s RetailGreen conference, Don Moseley from Walmart gave an amazing 15 minute presentation on how codes differ from one municipality to another, and especially how they vary even more from the new International Green Construction Code (IgCC). Although it sounds wonky, Mr. Moseley used the specific example of how the prescribed number of plumbing fixtures can vary from code to code, with the delta being as much as 20 fixtures for the same size Walmart store. Same store footprint, same demands, totally different plumbing requirements. Importantly, when a retailer has thousands of locations across the world, it’s more difficult to plan, and it hits the bottom line in myriad ways.

This year, Mr. Moseley showed what Walmart has been doing on their roofs. It’s been said that if all the Walmart’s in the world sat side by side, they could completely cover Manhattan. So imagine covering that rubber roof with plants and vegetation. They have a long way to go, and 100% is impossible due to roof top HVAC equipment as well as skylights for the sales floor, but they are trying to do as much as possible. Compounding the scale of difficulty for Walmart, their stores are in all climate zones. So one solution does not fit all roofs. He showed slides of a Texas store where the company has adjusted to having “browner” vegetation; whereas in Chicago, plantings more accepting of lots of rainier better. Again, planning is difficult when each store presents different challenges, and there are thousands of stores. But kudos to Walmart for pushing the needle on green roofs. Amazingly, Mr. Moseley was able to pack these great stories in a quick 15 minute presentation.

Topics: Retail, Sustainability, Events