GLASTONBURY, Conn., (July, 2008) – Whole Foods Market Glastonbury announced today that it has been awarded LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) green building certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

LEED is a third party certification program and the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. By using less energy, LEED-certified buildings save money for families, business and taxpayers; reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and contribute to a healthier environment for residents, workers and the larger community.

“The LEED certification of our Glastonbury store helps further solidify Whole Foods Market as an environmentally responsible industry leader with a deep commitment to sustainable building and renewable energy resources,” said Kathy Loftus, Global Leader of Sustainable Engineering, Maintenance & Energy Management at Whole Foods Market. “Our Glastonbury store was the first supermarket in the county to implement fuel cell technology, which prevents the release of more than 90 metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere annually. Naturally, we are incredibly excited that this particular store has been recognized for being designed and operated in a way that helps the planet and gives back to the local community.”

The 46,000 square-foot store was the first supermarket to generate green on-site energy by using PureCell® fuel cell technology from UTC Power.  This technology enables the Glastonbury store to generate over 50 percent of the electricity and heat needed to operate the store, and nearly 100 percent of the hot water while conserving natural resources.  To match the carbon dioxide-mitigating benefits of a fuel cell versus a conventional power plant, you would have to plant 21 acres of forest.  The annual nitrogen oxide emissions reduction is equivalent to removing 100 cars from roadways. Other green building features that helped Whole Foods Market gain LEED certification include: – Skylights with light shedding to utilize maximum levels of natural light, advanced building control system for track lighting and case lighting as well as HVAC and refrigeration – Recycled building materials including: polished concrete floors; décor boards; tiles and Forest Stewardship Council certified (FSC) wood – Waterless urinals Whole Foods Market Glastonbury’s design team helped Whole Foods Market Glastonbury achieve LEED certification for energy use, lighting, water and material use as well as incorporating a variety of other sustainable strategies. The team consisted of: – Harriman Associates: architectural and engineering services and contract work – Bottino Grund Architect: design architects   – E 2 S: building controls and commissioning – cm&b: general contractor – UTC Power: fuel cell technology “Building operations are nearly 40 percent of the solution to the global climate change challenge,” said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair, USGBC. “While climate change is a global problem, innovative companies like Whole Foods Market are addressing it through local solutions. They are a fundamental driving force in the green building movement.”

LEED certification of Whole Foods Market Glastonbury was based on a number of green design and construction features that positively impact the project itself and the broader community. These features include: in-store composting and recycling for items like printer cartridges, compact florescent light bulbs and cell phones; reusable plates and utensils; compostable containers and the elimination of plastic bags at checkout.

The Glastonbury store will become the fifth Whole Foods Market location to receive LEED green building certification. The company’s Sarasota, Florida, store received Silver LEED certification by the USGBC, the first-ever environmentally-friendly supermarket designed in accordance with the LEED Green Building Rating System. The Austin, Texas, flagship store is also LEED-certified, the Pacific Coast Highway store in Southern California is certified under LEED for Commercial Interiors and the South Loop store in Chicago also recently earned Gold Certification. Additionally, the company has around 20 stores registered to become LEED-certified and more under development.