Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) sells cheap clothes, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) sells expensive iPhones, and The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) sells the American Dream. But all three companies produce more of something else than any other American companies out there.
Power to the People
Wal-Mart Stores, Apple, and The Coca-Cola Company are going green. These three companies generate more on-site renewable electricity than other U.S. corporation.
In absolute terms, Wal-Mart Stores, is the undisputed leader. Its 174,835,668 kWh of annual green power use is enormous – it even beats out the Department of Energy. The big box retailer pulls power from biogas, solar, and wind sources .
Here's a quick video from Dave Ozmet, Wal-Mart's Director of Energy, explaining why he's proud of Wal-Mart's clean energy initiatives:
Wal-Mart Stores, has a goal of 100% renewable energy, and is both producing and purchasing power to meet its objectives. The company boasts 150 solar facilities across seven countries, 26 fuel cell installations in the U.S., and even installed a massive 1 MW wind turbine on-site at one of its California stores in 2012 .
The average solar-studded Wal-Mart supercenter boasts 1,500 panels, and the company has spearheaded several pilot projects examining how to make solar feasible in its snowier spots .
Apple isn't as power-hungry as Wal-Mart Stores,, so its smaller 101,506,667 annual kWh of green power use actually account for an impressive 16% of the computer company's total consumption .
The company has a goal of 100% renewable energy use, and achieved 75% in 2012. Considering it pulled just 35% of its power from clean sources in 2010, the company has made major headway in the past few years .
Apple powered up the largest end user-owned, on-site solar farm in the United States in 2012. The 100-acre, 20 MW North Carolina facility pushes its power to Apple's nearby data center, alongside a 10 MW fuel cell installation – which also holds the record of the largest non-utility fuel cell installation in the nation. Apple's data centers require loads of power, so its renewable energy investments are necessarily large .
We can all be thankful New Coke never caught on, but renewable Coke is something every soda drinker can celebrate. The Coca-Cola Company's Coca-Cola Refreshments subsidiary produces 41,328,558 kWh of renewable energy annual – equivalent to 5% of its total electricity demand .
The Coca-Cola Company has a goal to reduce its carbon footprint 25% by 2020, and is literally digging through trash to do it. The beverage company has bought up the entire 6.5 MW biogas output of a landfill near its Atlanta, Georgia headquarters. The heat-and-power system provides electricity, steam, and chilled water to the company's beverage plant, cutting emissions equivalent to 4,000 households' annual electricity use .
Go Green to Make Green?
Wal-Mart Stores, Apple, and The Coca-Cola Company don't have much in common – but they all know a deal when they see one. Each of these companies is consumer-oriented, and their customers are demanding environmental efforts at unprecedented rates. By putting green projects on the ground, these three corporations are showing the world what they're about – and securing the future of not only the environment, but also a growing customer base.
Say Goodbye to "Made In China"
Going green is paying off for U.S. companies – and technological advancement plays a major role in their environmental efforts. For the first time since the early days of this country, we're in a position to dominate the global manufacturing landscape thanks to a single, revolutionary technology: 3D printing. Although this sounds like something out of a science fiction novel, 3D printing could be the most environmental innovation ever, and the success of 3D printing is already a foregone conclusion to many manufacturers around the world. The trick now is to identify the companies -- and thereby the stocks -- that will prevail in the battle for market share. To see the three companies that are currently positioned to do so, simply download our invaluable free report on the topic by clicking here now.
Justin Loiseau owns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool recommends Apple and Coca-Cola. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple and Coca-Cola. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.