AUSTIN, Texas (January 10, 2006) Whole Foods Market, the world's leading natural and organic foods supermarket, has made a landmark purchase of renewable energy credits from wind farms to offset 100% of the electricity used in all of its stores, facilities, bake houses, distribution centers, regional offices and national headquarters in the United States and Canada. This is the largest wind energy credit purchase in the history of the United States and Canada and makes Whole Foods Market the only Fortune 500 Company purchasing wind energy credits to offset 100% of its electricity use.
“Whole Foods Market is a leader in the natural and organic foods movement, and that involves caring about our communities and respecting our environment. This purchase of wind energy credits is a natural extension of that leadership and is integral to our core values,” said Michael Besancon, Whole Foods Market Southern Pacific regional president and Green Mission task force leader. “Offsetting 100% of our electricity use with renewable, clean energy strengthens our commitment to be a leader in environmental stewardship by helping to clean the air and reducing our dependence on fossil fuels.”
As of December 9, 2005, Whole Foods Market is purchasing more than 458,000 megawatt-hours (MWh) of renewable energy credits from wind farms. This purchase will avoid more than 700 million pounds of carbon dioxide pollution this year. To have the same environmental impact, more than 60,000 cars would have to be taken off the road or more than 90,000 acres of trees would have to be planted.
“Whole Foods Market has made the largest ever corporate purchase of renewable energy credits in the nation,” said Kurt Johnson, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Green Power Partnership director. “Conventional electricity generation is the largest industrial source of air pollution in the United States and wind power is a clean and renewable alternative. Whole Foods Market's commitment to wind power is providing an outstanding example of environmental leadership.” Renewable energy credits make nationwide wind power transactions possible since it would be physically impossible to deliver electrons from a wind farm directly to all of Whole Foods Market's stores, facilities, and businesses. When a wind farm produces electricity, renewable energy credits are issued to track the exact amount of power created.
Whole Foods Market has chosen Boulder, Colorado-based Renewable Choice Energy as its exclusive supplier of renewable energy credits after an extensive search process. Renewable Choice Energy is a leading national provider building the market for clean and renewable sources of energy. “Renewable Choice Energy is thrilled to have been chosen to make this record-setting renewable energy credit purchase possible,” said Quayle Hodek, Renewable Choice Energy chief executive officer. “Whole Foods Market's commitment is an inspiration to everyone looking for a leader to demonstrate that wind power is ready for the mainstream.”
To help evaluate options and facilitate the purchasing process, Whole Foods Market involved the Washington, DC-based nonprofit environmental think tank World Resources Institute (WRI). Since 2000, WRI has been working with a number of Fortune 500 companies to increase their use of renewable energy. “By making this purchase, Whole Foods Market is taking a huge step toward advancing corporate renewable energy purchases,” said Jonathan Lash, WRI president. “Corporate leadership is essential to the growth of wind power and Whole Foods Market's historic purchase has set a new benchmark for the industry.”
EDITORS NOTE: Wind farm and Whole Foods Market store b-roll available upon request. Wind farm photos available at http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/media/windfarm.html
About Renewable Choice Energy Based in Boulder, Colorado, Renewable Choice Energy (www.renewablechoice.com) is a leading national provider and marketer of wind power. Renewable Choice plays an integral role in connecting wind power producers with the wind consumer. Renewable Choice Energy is certified to sell wind energy credits anywhere in the United States and has a diverse customer base that includes Fortune 500 companies, retailers, manufacturers, cities, universities and residential consumers. As a pioneer in wind power marketing, Renewable Choice Energy has helped develop many industry standards and best practices, and is the leading supplier to LEED certified green building projects. Renewable Choice Energy does not just serve existing demand for wind power, but actively grows the potential market for wind power with innovative marketing strategies.
About the U.S. EPA Green Power Partnership The Green Power Partnership (www.epa.gov/greenpower) is an EPA voluntary program working to standardize green power procurement as part of best practice environmental management. Partners in the program purchase green power for a specified minimum portion of their electricity needs in return for EPA technical assistance and public recognition. The Green Power Partnership has more than 600 Partners including Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, trade associations and universities ? collectively purchasing over 4 billion kilowatt hours of green power annually.
About World Resources Institute The World Resources Institute (www.wri.org) is an independent, non-partisan and nonprofit organization with a staff of more than 100 scientists, economists, policy experts, business analysts, statistical analysts, mapmakers, and communicators developing and promoting policies that will help protect the Earth and improve people's lives.