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Whole Foods Aims to Reduce Energy Use 25% by 2015

Supermarket chain Whole Foods has set a goal to reduce energy consumed per square foot 25 percent by 2015.

Additionally, the chain said it is stepping up efforts in the areas of wind energy, on-site renewable energy, and aggressive green building, advanced refrigeration and transportation practices, according to a press release.

Using a 2008 baseline, the chain is tracking energy and emissions from energy usage, refrigerant gas leakage, and fuel use for the internal truck fleet.

“With this combination of strategies, we intend to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent per square foot by 2015,” said Kathy Loftus, Whole Foods Market global leader, sustainable engineering. “Saving energy costs less than buying it, so we are reducing our energy appetite from both traditional and renewable sources.”

Whole Foods points to its Santa Barbara, Calif., location as one that could provide an example to others. That store uses 45 percent less energy than a comparable store nearby.

Whole Foods, which is offsetting 100 percent of its North American electricity use with wind energy credits for the fourth year running, will buy about 810,000 mWh of renewable energy credits this year.

Whole Foods is supplementing traditional power with solar at 15 locations, and more are in development.

A San Jose, Calif., location will use a fuel cell to generate about 90 percent of its needs. Whole Foods is also using fuel-cell technology at stores in Glastonbury, Conn., and Dedham, Mass.

With regard to green building, Whole Foods said it has about 30 locations that are either LEED or Green Globes certified, registered or in development.

Whole Foods discusses other “Green Action” efforts at its company blog.

About this time last year, the Austin, Texas-based supermarket chain announced plans to add solar to more than 20 additional locations.

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