ATLANTA (May 16, 2012) – Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ: WFM) announces its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) for its newest Raleigh, North Carolina location. The store has also been acknowledged by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for successfully diverting more than ninety percent of its waste from landfills.

The 40,000 square-foot store, located at 8710 Six Forks Road in the LEED Silver shopping center, Market at Colonnade, in North Raleigh, opened in March 2011 and met rigorous building and energy efficiency standards during construction and its first year in operation to receive the commendation. The store is the first of Whole Foods Market’s twenty-three locations in the South region to receive this certification. Companywide, it’s the sixth LEED Gold store in the United States.

Omar Gaye, Whole Foods Market South region vice president, said, “We are thrilled to make these two green mission announcements in Raleigh. This is truly a part of who we are as a company, and a part of our continued commitment to our core value of caring for our communities and our environment. We are striving to improve the efficiency of existing stores as well as build new stores that meet and exceed these standards.” 

Whole Foods Market North Raleigh achieved LEED certification for energy and water efficiencies, enhanced lighting and materials selection as well as incorporating a variety of other sustainable strategies. By using less energy and water, LEED certified buildings save money for families, businesses and taxpayers; reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and contribute to a healthier environment for residents, workers and the larger community.

Highlights of the LEED Gold store:
• 11,000 gallon rainwater cistern captures rainwater for use in bathrooms and other non-food related areas. All rainwater stays onsite through advanced site engineering methods, relieving pressure on storm water systems.

• Recycled and re-purposed materials used throughout the store
• More than 50% regionally-sourced — within 500 miles of site — materials used
•  38% reduction* in HVAC energy usage, 16% reduction* in lighting power
• Skylights provide “daylight harvesting” and energy savings
• 100% of electrical power offset by Renewable Energy Credits
• 43% of the store’s lights are energy efficient LED lights
• 390 square-feet dedicated to storage and recycling of paper, cardboard, glass, plastic and metal
*compared with baseline for typical grocery stores

In addition to this LEED certification, the North Raleigh store is being recognized by the EPA as a Zero Waste business. Whole Foods Market Team Members work diligently to channel more than ninety percent of the store’s waste to proper recycling, compost or trash containers, and they donate food overages to local non-profit groups.

The teams recycle all of the following materials throughout the store, from the kitchens to the café:

• Paper and newspaper
• #1-#7 plastic
• Glass
• Aluminum and steel cans
• #5 plastic recycling with Preserve
• Cardboard and paperboard
• Waxed cardboard recycling through Envirolog
• Clear plastic film and packaging material

“I’m so proud of our team members for really going after the Zero Waste initiative and taking ownership of it,” said George Jones, North Raleigh Store Team Leader.  “It’s through their diligence that we’ve been able to keep more than 90% of our store’s waste out of landfills and re-purpose it for something else. This is a huge accomplishment and we hope other stores will follow our lead.”

About Whole Foods Market®
Founded in 1980 in Austin, Texas, Whole Foods Market (, NASDAQ: WFM), is the leading natural and organic food retailer. As America’s first national certified organic grocer, Whole Foods Market was named “America’s Healthiest Grocery Store” by Health magazine. The company's motto, “Whole Foods, Whole People, Whole Planet”™ captures its mission to ensure customer satisfaction and health, Team Member excellence and happiness, enhanced shareholder value, community support and environmental improvement. Thanks to the company’s more than 64,000 Team Members, Whole Foods Market has been ranked as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” in America by FORTUNE magazine for 15 consecutive years. In fiscal year 2011, the company had sales of more than $10 billion and currently has more than 315 stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.