Corporate Eye

Walmart Leads List of the Top 25 Solar Brands in the United States

walmart solar energyFor the second year in a row, Walmart took the top spot as the most solar brand in the United States as part of the annual Solar Means Business report released by The Solar Energy Industries Association and The Vote Solar Initiative. The report ranks the U.S. businesses that are the leading corporate solar users, and in total, Walmart has almost double the solar capacity of any other company.

The top 25 solar brands, according to the Solar Means Business report, come from a variety of industries. Each company has prioritized sustainability initiatives and together, they’ve rolled out more than 445 MW of solar energy at nearly 1,000 facilities across the United States. According to the report, the top 25 companies combined produce enough power on their own to power 73,400 American homes.

The top 25 solar brands in the United States in 2013 (based on “installed capacity”) are:

  1. Walmart
  2. Costco
  3. Kohl’s
  4. Apple
  5. IKEA
  6. Macy’s
  7. Johnson & Johnson
  8. McGraw Hill
  9. Staples
  10. Campbell’s Soup
  11. U.S. Foods
  12. Bed Bath & Beyond
  13. Kaiser Permanente
  14. Volkswagen
  15. Walgreens
  16. Target
  17. Safeway
  18. FedEx
  19. Intel
  20. L’OREAL
  21. General Motors
  22. Toys “r” Us
  23. White Rose Foods
  24. Toyota
  25. Dow Jones & Company

Individually, these companies have shown their commitment to sustainability and solar energy isn’t just corporate rhetoric. Companies like IKEA and Walmart have been promoting their corporate goals to switch to 100% renewable energy in their operations for years, and the data in the infographic below shows you just how much these companies are actually doing to make those goals a reality.


Corporate sustainability initiatives are not only important for the world but brands can also use them as powerful marketing tools. In a press release from SEIA, Rhone Resch, SEIA President and CEO, identified several key benefits to going solar for companies and brands:

  • Decrease reliance on outside energy sources
  • Create jobs
  • Boost the economy
  • Improve the environment
  • Reduce operating expenses

Each of the benefits listed above are good for companies and consumers and can easily be turned into effective brand messages. More and more companies are launching sustainability programs, including solar energy strategies, every day. It’s only a matter of time until consumers expect companies to actively support full-scale sustainability programs. At that point, initiatives like the implementation of solar energy in daily operations won’t be as much brand differentiators as they’ll be brand necessities.

Until that time, promote your company’s sustainability initiatives to ensure consumers know that you’re actively making a difference in their communities. They’ll reward you for it by talking about your programs, company, and brands, and ultimately, they’ll start purchasing from you.

Image: Walmart

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.