Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Our Newest Green Adventure

By Lauren Evans, August 27, 2009  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Lauren Evans
Southglen OpeningOur Team Members love opening new stores - it gives them a blank canvas to try out all of their cool ideas. At our new SouthGlenn store in Colorado, you can plug in your electric car, park your dog at its own safe place outside, sip some on-tap kombucha, shop from more than 1,200 local products and 1,500 private label products, get your wild-caught salmon filleted and seasoned for free while strolling the largest prepared foods section in Colorado. Pretty cool, huh? But that's not all. Green building is a top priority for us and with SouthGlenn, we were very pleased to contribute to the redevelopment of an existing center to bring commerce back into the neighborhood without sacrificing any green space. With energy efficient systems and a healthy indoor space, our new store earned a "Green Globe" award. Green Globes® is an online rating and on-site assessment system for eco-friendly design and operating functions that's a good fit with our vision of sustainability. Southglen OpeningWhile shopping the store and cruising the back hallways, you'll see high efficiency refrigerators, walk-ins and coolers that maximize energy usage as well as conscious lighting choices like solar tracking skylights. By installing 40 skylights, we are able to track the sun's position in the sky to maximize the amount of daylight harvesting that takes place and cut back on lighting needs around the store. We are really excited that 80% of our retail space is naturally lit from daylight penetration! In terms of energy, we have reduced our consumption by 9% or 200,000 kilowatt-hours of electric energy when compared to a typical food sales establishment of similar size. We made it happen through:
  • Heat reclaimed from refrigerated cases, which reduced electric energy consumption by 100 gallons per hour, equaling 110,000 kilowatt-hours of electric energy saved
  • Many closed door cases to increase refrigeration efficiency and night curtains on open cases
  • Southglen Opening
  • High efficiency ECM fan motors in the cases and Walk-ins; variable speed condenser fan control; oversized condensers and no CFC refrigeration
  • Computer controls interconnected with lighting, refrigeration and HVAC for energy management
  • Efficient lighting at only 1.2 watts per square foot which reduced electric power demand by 17.4 kilowatts below standard. This also reduces the annual electric energy use by approximately 89,000 kilowatt hours!
  • Solar tracking skylights
  • LED lighting in all door cases
The use of durable and long-lasting materials such as concrete and tile also ensure that we were mindful of our environment in our purchasing decisions. Other sustainable materials used include: skyblend, MDF, aluminum, reclaimed barnwood, steel and 3-form. In all restrooms, high-speed hand dryers were installed to eliminate waste from paper towels and reduce energy consumption by up to 80%. Automatic water faucets ensure that water turns off as soon as it is no longer needed, and all of the urinals are waterless also, saving thousands of gallons of water every month. Southlen OpeningOther sustainable initiatives adopted by SouthGlenn include supporting local producers to reduce "food miles" by offering over 1,200 locally-made products, stocking an extensive bulk aisle to reduce packing and increase value, and conserving resources with an extensive recycling and composting center. Outside of the store, multiple bike racks welcome riders, while four car plug-ins at the front of the store celebrate those who drive electric cars. If you live in the area, we hope you'll check out the new store and see how cool it is, or check it out online and let us know what you think.

Lauren Evans started with Whole Foods Market six years ago in the Prepared Foods department at the Sixth Street store in Austin. She helped open our Austin Lamar store and then moved to Colorado to open Tamarac and Belmar as a Prepared Foods supervisor. Lauren started her marketing stint at the Pearl Street store in Boulder, later transitioning into a regional role as an Associate Marketing Coordinator.

Category: Green Action

 

5 Comments

Comments

Jonny Nichols says ...
Dear Whole Foods, sounds very cool... so cool we can hardly wait for your new store to open in North Raleigh NC. However, we can't find any updated information on it... why? It looks like ground is broken at a site that is thought to be yours, but we can't tell for sure. Hope to hear from you on this. Thanks, and please keep up the good-green work!
08/30/2009 9:34:21 AM CDT
Emily says ...
I'm glad that you are taking your sustainable eating vision to the next level with your "green" buildings. I know that a Whole Foods is opening up soon in Milford, CT. Will we be able to see some of these same eco-friendly features in use there? Thanks!
09/06/2009 2:49:54 PM CDT
Hethyr says ...
We love the new South Glenn store! I had no idea how green it was until just now. Makes it that much more enjoyable. Keep up the great work and thank you for bringing this to my city!
09/06/2009 5:59:55 PM CDT
Shawn Andrews says ...
Hey, Whole Foods is like a second home to us! Thank you for being here!
09/07/2009 4:47:01 PM CDT
Amy Bjork says ...
Go Whole Foods! It's so great to hear that companies like you are doing your part in helping our Mother Earth! :) I heard about an amazing new plastic bag substitute that uses tapioca and is biodegradable. I know that Seattle just opposed a law that would ban plastic bags because of a lack of replacement for them...maybe Whole Foods could be the pioneers for this new product and lead the way for the rest of the world? Just a thought! Here is the article for anyone interested: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/london/3063991.stm Keep up the great work! Amy
10/09/2009 12:32:57 PM CDT