AUSTIN, Texas (October 5, 2004) The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognized Whole Foods Market for its green power purchases with a 2004 Green Power Leadership Award at its Annual Leadership Awards in Albany, New York on October 4.

The Green Power Leadership Awards are competitive awards that recognize outstanding commitments and achievements in the green power marketplace of individuals or organizations that are significantly advancing the development of renewable electricity through green power markets.

“I think this honor is a great opportunity to show our shoppers and team members that we 'walk our talk' with dedication to our green mission to be a leader in environmental stewardship,” said Michael Besancon, Whole Foods Market Southern Pacific regional president and Green Mission task force leader. “We continue to support organic farmers, growers, and the environment through our commitment to sustainable agriculture and by expanding the market for organic products, and we plan to make green energy purchasing a priority.”

Currently, Whole Foods Market is purchasing or generating more than 20 percent of its total national power load from green power sources per year, comparable to removing 8,600 cars from the road per year. Whole Foods Market is making significant green power purchases throughout the United States. In some states such as California, Colorado, and New Mexico, Whole Foods Market is 100 percent green-powered. Whole Foods Market also has solar panels to generate renewable-based electricity at five stores in California and New Jersey.

Kurt Johnson of the EPA's Green Power Partnership congratulated Whole Foods Market for its outstanding leadership on green power: “Whole Foods Market is currently the second largest commercial purchaser of green power in the Partnership. The company's leadership in green power markets is providing significant support towards the development of new renewable energy power plants across the country.”

Whole Foods Market green power purchases include a variety of green power products, including renewable energy certificates and green power that is sold through utilities and energy marketers. Green power products purchased by Whole Foods Market use several forms of renewable energy, including wind, solar, geothermal, small-hydro, and geothermal. Almost 50 percent of Whole Foods Market's total green power purchases come from wind power.

In August, Whole Foods Market joined the EPA's Green Power Partnership, a voluntary program that works to standardize green power procurement as part of best environmental management. Partners in the program pledge to switch to green power for a portion of their electricity needs.