While I know we don’t do it for the awards, it certainly feels good when others recognize the importance Whole Foods Market places on green issues. Just last night, we received a Green Power Partner of the Year award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the third time. We were one of only four organizations— and the only grocer — to win the award. We’re honored, and it’s certainly a tribute to the many who have been leading our green mission efforts for so long.
The competitive Green Power Partner of the Year award recognizes EPA Green Power Partners who distinguish themselves through their purchase, leadership, overall strategy and impact on the green power market. We were recognized for increasing our green power purchasing to include nearly 818 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power in 2010, which is more than 100% of our purchased electricity use. According to the EPA, 818 million kWh of renewable energy credits (RECs) is the equivalent amount of electricity needed to power more than 71,000 average American homes annually.
For 2011, we have committed to purchasing RECs from NextEra Energy Resource's EarthEra program, 3 Degrees and Renewable Choice Energy. This will be the fifth year for us to offset 100% of our purchased electricity use. We currently rank third on EPA’s National Top 50 Partners list, which highlights EPA Green Power Partners that have completed the largest annual voluntary purchases through July 6, 2010. Back in 2006, we were the first Fortune 500® company to purchase wind energy credits for 100% of our electricity use across U.S. operations.
Whole Foods Market uses a comprehensive alternative energy approach to reduce reliance on fossil fuels. We have committed to reducing our energy consumption by 25% per square foot by 2015 and we’re increasing our adoption of
on-site energy sources — like fuel cells, waste to energy and solar power — as well as including electricity offsets from wind power. We’re proud to be recognized once again by EPA for our commitment to advancing the development of the nation's green power market.
Hats off to everyone at Whole Foods Market who works so hard to help us live up to our green mission ideals.