Whole Foods Aims for 25% Reduction in Energy Use by 2015

Whole Foods Market (Nasdaq: WFMI) announced it is strengthening efforts to reduce energy consumption company-wide by 25% per square foot by 2015.

The Company has committed to wind energy, more on-site renewable energy, and aggressive green building, advanced refrigeration and transportation practices.

"With this combination of strategies, we intend to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by 25% per square foot by 2015," said Kathy Loftus, Whole Foods Market global leader, sustainable engineering. "Saving energy costs less than buying it, so we are reducing our energy appetite from both traditional and renewable sources."

The Company has designed new stores to be more energy efficient. Several have been awarded the Environmental Protection Agency’s GreenChill certification, which recognizes eco-friendly commercial refrigeration systems. One early example of reduced energy is California’s Santa Barbara store, which uses 45% less energy than a nearby store of comparable size, Whole Foods said..

As part of a Department of Energy partnership, the Company was awarded resources to design new stores and retrofit older ones. The program pairs Whole Foods Market with the National Renewable Energy Lab to create, test and validate design concepts that will move toward net-zero energy commercial buildings.

This is the fourth year that Whole Foods Market will offset 100% of its North American electricity use with wind energy credits. This year, the Company will purchase more than 810,000 megawatt hours (mWh) of renewable energy credits, adding clean energy to power grids.

The Company also has 15 locations supplementing traditional power with solar with more in development. The San Jose store recently announced it would host a fuel cell, making it the first supermarket in California that will generate enough electricity on site to meet 90% of its needs. This store joins the Glastonbury, Conn., and Dedham, Mass., stores, which already have on-site hydrogen fuel cells. More are on tap for future locations.

The Company has close to 30 stores that are either LEED or Green Globes certified, registered or in development. The latest store to announce LEED Gold is the Upper West Side store.

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