We know that our customers hold us to a higher standard than conventional stores. If you talk the talk, then you better be walking the walk. We agree. So, in case you missed the press coverage of our company's big Earth Day announcement, here's a recap. We set the environmental bar higher than ever before with our comprehensive energy commitment that more than triples the number of Whole Foods Market stores with solar panels, extends our 100% offset of any non-renewable electricity with wind energy, and provides for a significant investment in energy reduction by retrofitting existing stores with energy efficient lighting, equipment and mechanical components.
Here's the breakdown:
20 more stores will be powered by rooftop solar installations. Future rollout phases include plans for around 70 solar locations (about 1/4 of our total stores.)
We are continuing our 100% wind power offset; which brings our four-year total purchase to 2 million megawatt-hours of renewable energy credits from wind farms. This is the equivalent of the electricity used in more than 160,000 homes in one year.
Energy Savings and Emissions Reductions:
We are reducing reliance on fossil fuels in a variety of ways, from state-of-the-art, energy-efficient lighting to more sophisticated energy controls and monitoring systems - and have saved in excess of 15 million kWh of electricity in the past two years, reducing energy consumption up to 20% for some stores. Other innovations are on the horizon: for example, expanding the success of the on-site hydrogen fuel cell at our Glastonbury, Conn., store. The fuel cell, a first for a supermarket, generates 50% of the electricity and heat and nearly 100% of the hot water needed to operate the store.
Green Certifications and Tracking
Environmental certifications, like LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), for new Whole Foods Market stores have been abundant in recent years. And we are going further by developing an inventory of scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions, which will help track and report natural gas and electricity consumption, refrigerant leaks and trucking fleet emissions. We are setting internal goals for greenhouse gas reduction in future years by using smart design and energy reduction technologies.
We are continually working on new ideas and innovations for Earth Day and every day. Let us know if you have thoughts about our energy commitment and goals.