Built Environment: Designing Energy Efficient Stores

Learn about how we’re promoting alternative energy in our stores and helping our customers reduce their environmental impact.

White Text: Leading the Way to Building Greener Grocery Stores Worldwide

Built environment refers to human-made physical spaces where we live, work and play. For us, it means going above and beyond to design and operate our stores in ways that maximize our energy efficiency. And it's one of the many reasons why we're doing our part to promote alternative energy and help our customers reduce their environmental impact.

We’re constantly exploring new and innovative technology to make our stores more energy efficient. Learn about our achievements and ongoing efforts to ensure we're nourishing our planet for the future.

Installing Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

We installed our first electric vehicle charging station at our flagship store in Austin, Texas, more than a decade ago. Since then, we’ve been a leader among U.S. retailers in offering more and faster electric vehicle charging stations in our parking lots.

Harnessing Solar Energy

As of 2022, we have nearly 70 stores supplementing traditional energy supply with power from rooftop solar installations, and more are in development.

Achieving Green Building Certifications

We are proud to have dozens of stores that have been Green Globes– or LEED-certified across North America. These are both globally recognized symbols of energy efficiency achievement and leadership.

LEED-Certified Stores

Used worldwide, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design opens in a new tab (LEED) is a green building certification program that includes a rating system for the design, construction, operation and maintenance of buildings of all shapes and sizes. This program aims to help building owners and operators be environmentally responsible use resources more efficiently.

Green Globe–Certified Stores

As a nationally recognized green rating assessment, guidance and certification program, Green Globes opens in a new tab provides tools to work toward sustainability goals.

Using Green Refrigeration

Whole Foods Market is proud to be a leader among U.S. supermarkets in our efforts to reduce emissions of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). HFCs are a group of industrial chemicals primarily used for cooling and refrigeration, many of which are powerful greenhouse gases.

GreenChill Partnership

Whole Foods Market is a founding partner and active participant of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s GreenChill program opens in a new tab, which helps food retailers transition to alternative refrigerants, reduce refrigerant charge sizes, eliminate leaks and adopt improved refrigeration technologies. Whole Foods Market is also a founding member of the North American Sustainable Refrigeration Council opens in a new tab and continues to actively participate.

Making Our Refrigeration Even Greener

As of the end of 2022, 45 Whole Foods Market stores utilize refrigeration systems that rely on low global warming potential refrigerants. Global Warming Potential is gas’ ability to trap extra heat in our atmosphere over time. An additional 65 Whole Foods Market stores have been retrofitted to use next-generation Solstice N40 opens in a new tab refrigerant, which has a global warming potential that is approximately 68% lower than legacy HFC refrigerants.

Whole foods market in south boulder with mountains in background

Designing Grocery Stores of the Future

We’ve designed several stores that have been used as case studies for sustainability and energy-efficiency practices. A flagship Whole Foods Market store in Brooklyn, New York, has a central refrigeration system that is 100% HFC free. This store has achieved LEED platinum, GreenChill Platinum and four Green Globes.

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