We are committed to environmentally sustainable policies and practices within our local and global communities. Environmental concerns are essential to our decision making, and we’re committed to helping everyone in our company understand the value of acting in an environmentally responsible way.
We strive to reduce our environmental impact on the earth and its resources. In 2015 we set a target to reduce our greenhouse gas footprint from all energy sources by 25 percent by 2020. We’re well on our way as our total footprint is now 19 percent, even though we have added a new 25,000-square-foot market to our family, and we’ve still got two years until 2020. That reduction is equivalent to a 29 percent reduction per square foot.
Our recently remodeled Town & Country Market on Bainbridge Island was awarded LEED® Gold from the US Green Building Council (USGBC) for achievement in our remodel practices and in the ongoing operation of the market. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a rating system developed by USGBC for buildings, homes and communities that are designed, constructed, maintained and operated for improved environmental and human health performance. For more on that story, see that market’s page.
We are applying the best practices we learned from the LEED® Gold certification process to the remodels of other stores. For example, we replaced all the lighting in Ballard Market with LEDs, which reduces the lighting energy used by more than 55 percent. We swapped out more than 1,400 fluorescent refrigeration lights in other markets to LEDs, saving almost 300,000 kWh of electricity per year. And we re-lamped Central Market Mill Creek with LEDs, some of which use 75 percent less electricity than those they replaced.
Refrigeration and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) consume the majority of the energy used in grocery stores. In 2017, we enclosed 400 feet of open refrigeration in the produce and dairy aisles of all our markets with swing doors. The doors not only save energy directly by easing the load on the refrigeration systems, but indirectly, they also save on heating and air conditioning. In addition, remote monitoring systems on refrigeration equipment alerts us when a door is left ajar so it can be closed immediately. That not only prevents energy waste, it also ensures the integrity of the food by maintaining consistent temperature and humidity control. Also, we installed advanced control systems on many of our HVAC systems, which can cut that energy use by up to 60 percent.