AUSTIN, Texas (Sept. 21, 2011) – Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ: WFM) has received the Environmental Protection Agency’s GreenChill Most Improved Emissions Rate 2010 award. The GreenChill Partnership works with food retailers to reduce refrigerant emissions in order to decrease their impact on the ozone layer and climate change. To achieve such a measurable change in one year, Whole Foods Market installed many leak detection systems in their stores and monitored the equipment regularly to ensure efficiency.

“This effort shows it is possible to make very significant gains in environmental protection in a short period of time when a company prioritizes emissions reductions,” said Keilly Witman, GreenChill program manager.

Whole Foods Market has long worked to improve refrigerant emissions. It also received the Most Improved Emissions Rate award in 2009 for improvements made in 2008. “Receiving honors such as this EPA GreenChill Partnership award helps us to benchmark our success and encourages us to continue to strive for further improvement,” said Kathy Loftus, global leader of sustainable engineering and energy management for Whole Foods Market. “Our Green Mission efforts include building new stores that use FSC certified wood and recycled steel for new store construction and décor in addition to updating older stores with energy efficient equipment.”

Whole Foods Market constantly looks for ways to incorporate sound environmental practices in all business practices. For example, the Pearl store in Boulder, CO was recently awarded three Green Globes. The Wellesley store in Massachusetts recently earned three Golden Globes and a GreenChill Silver award. The Pearl and Wellesley stores join 26 other Whole Foods Market stores that have obtained either LEED certification or Green Globes. Additionally, seven other Whole Foods Market stores have either gold or silver GreenChill certifications.

Last year, Whole Foods Market announced its goal to reduce energy consumption in all stores by 25 percent per square foot from 2008 to 2015. “We have implemented energy-efficiency upgrades in our stores that have saved nearly 20 million kWh in the last several years,” added Loftus.

To learn more about Whole Foods Market’s green efforts and awards, visit