The Walmart Foundation is Walmart’s philanthropic organization. The foundation provided more than $512 million in cash and in-kind gifts around the world during the company’s 2009 fiscal year. Recently the foundation announced a $1.2 million donation to the National Energy Education Development Project (NEED). These funds will allow 20 schools in five U.S. cities to install solar panels, reducing the school’s carbon footprint and saving money on annual energy costs.

"The Walmart Solar School program will help educate the next generation on the opportunities and benefits of using more renewable energy," said Margaret McKenna, president of the Walmart Foundation. "This program aligns perfectly with Walmart's sustainability commitment to involve our communities and customers in our environmental and social efforts." Source: Walmart Foundation

The 20 schools are located in the following cities: Chicago, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, Minneapolis and Seattle. The installations will generate about 150,000 kilowatts of electricity annually, reduce energy costs by more than $15,000 annually, and prevent more than 100 tons of greenhouse gas emissions from entering the atmosphere each year.

The recent economic crisis has severely impacted state budgets in many areas and unfortunately, education has been the target of many of these cuts. Although the environmental impact of the solar installations is noteworthy, the financial savings that the schools will realize from this project will make an immediate impact on students and families in the district.

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