Time to toot our own horn a bit. We're very honored to be recognized with the following:
Most Humane Grocery Store
For the second year in a row, Whole Foods Market ranked number one in the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) survey ranking U.S. grocery stores on the availability of humanely labeled foods.
WSPA, the world's largest alliance of animal welfare organizations, conducted a survey of 200 stores in 34 states to rank the top 25 U.S. supermarket chains based on the quality and variety of humanely labeled products available on the shelves - and we scored the highest, offering twice as many humanely labeled products than any other ranked grocer! Actually, that's no surprise to us. We require all animal suppliers to meet specific and rigorous welfare standards applying to all stages of an animal's life and environment, and we champion innovative production systems that support the comfort, physical safety and health of the animals.
2009 Socially Responsible Retailer Award
The Natural Products Association presented Whole Foods Market with their "2009 Socially Responsible Retailer Award" for excellence in integrating social responsibility into multiple aspects of business. While there were several determining factors for selection, the work of our nonprofit Whole Planet Foundation was the primary reason we were chosen for the award. Established in October 2005, the Whole Planet Foundation empowers the poor through microcredit in developing countries where we source products. To date, the foundation has committed $9.9 million for micro-lending projects and has provided $5.3 million in grants to microfinance groups around the globe, resulting in $13 million in microcredit loans - usually less than $200 - to start home-based businesses. The project has given more than 41,000 people the chance to lift themselves and, on average, five family members, out of poverty, effectively impacting a total of 205,000 people in communities in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
International TOBY Award
The Whole Foods Market headquarters building in Austin, Texas won the 2009 International TOBY (The Office Building of the Year) award in the 100,000 - 249,999 square feet category. An international TOBY award is one of the most highly recognized awards in the building management and real estate industry, and kudos go to our property management company, Schlosser Development. Judging was based on community impact, tenant/employee relations programs, energy management systems, accessibility for disabled people, emergency evacuation procedures, building personnel training programs and overall quality indicators. Among the aspects that impressed the judges:
- Managing the building to strict Energy Star performance standards - uses less energy, is less expensive to operate, and causes fewer greenhouse gas emissions than its peers.
- BEST (Building Emergency Safety Teams) involve tenants with Emergency preparedness and security.
- Building management partners with the Whole Foods Market Green Mission Team to accelerate and broadly expand Green Mission initiatives throughout the Headquarters building. The team works with employees to identify conservation ideas that benefit the building and the environment.
- 13,000-gallon rainwater collection tank collects runoff from the roof and is used for the irrigation system.
While we will keep doing what we do because it's part of our mission, getting recognized for our efforts is nice too.