ATLANTA (April 11, 2008) –Whole Foods Market ® (NASDAQ: WFMI)  recently earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) prestigious ENERGY STAR, the national symbol for protecting the environment through superior energy performance. Whole Foods Market South Region stores join approximately 3,200 buildings nationwide that have earned the ENERGY STAR.

By earning the ENERGY STAR, Whole Foods Market South Region stores are using about 35 percent less energy than average supermarkets, while still providing quality service and comfort to its customers. The South Region of Whole Foods Market is comprised of stores in Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

“We’re proud to be the first region within Whole Foods Market to earn the EPA’s ENERGY STAR in recognition of our energy efficiency efforts,” said Scott Allshouse, South Region president. “By promising to reduce our energy consumption, benchmarking our stores and facilities, and educating our team members about energy consumption, we are ensuring sustained energy usage reductions.”

To earn the ENERGY STAR, Whole Foods Market updated existing buildings using an integrated process with architects and engineering partners and specific state of the art energy efficiency products, equipment and systems. An educational program is also in development, teaching team members to be conscious of and to know how to manage energy usage more efficiently.

The South Region is the first region within Whole Foods Market to participate in this program with other regions working toward this goal. All South Region stores that met criteria to submit (12, total) were granted the certification. The region will be applying for other stores as they become eligible to participate.

Kathy Loftus, Global Leader, Sustainable Engineering, Maintenance & Energy Management at Whole Foods Market, said, “Whole Foods Market truly appreciates the resources and value gained by working with the EPA’s partnerships. Together with the EPA, we are also a Green Power, Green Chill and Climate Leaders Partner. As a sector leader for the National Action Plan for Energy Efficiency, we’ve motivated other retailers to step up their energy efficiency efforts and we’ve committed to continuous improvement with our efforts.

Organizations earn the ENERGY STAR by using the EPA’s national energy performance rating system to generate energy-efficiency ratings for their buildings, on a scale of 1 to 100 relative to similar buildings across the country. The rating system is available for office buildings, schools, dormitories, hotels, hospitals, and grocery stores, among other commercial buildings.

ENERGY STAR is a government-backed program that helps businesses and consumers protect the environment through superior energy efficiency. In 2006 alone, Americans, with the help of ENERGY STAR, saved $14 billion and prevented greenhouse gas emissions equal to those from 25 million vehicles.

For more information about ENERGY STAR visit