United Natural Foods awarded EPA’s Energy Star Rating for its distribution facility
Providence, R.I. United Natural Foods’ Chesterfield, N.H., distribution center has been awarded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star rating, marking it as one of the most efficient distribution facilities in the nation for superior energy efficiency and environmental protection. Energy Star is a leading national metric for evaluating building energy efficiency.
To qualify, the Chesterfield facility had to place among the top 25% of the most energy-efficient facilities in the U.S. Buildings that earn the Energy Star rating typically utilize 35% less energy and emit 35% less CO2 into the atmosphere when compared with average buildings. Additionally, the facility meets or exceeds standards for thermal comfort, indoor air quality and luminance levels.
Features at United Natural Foods’ Chesterfield distribution center that support its rating include energy-efficient, motion-activated T-8 lighting in the full-case warehouse area and motion-activated T-5 lighting for the repack mezzanine. Committed to exceptional indoor air quality, as well as energy-usage reduction, the company implemented enhancements to the administration area’s HVAC system including the replacement of the main office air-conditioning unit as well as upgrades to the duct system that greatly improved efficiency in the delivery of both heating and cooling.
The 319,000-sq.-ft. Chesterfield facility serves as a regional distribution hub for customers in New England; New Jersey; metro New York and all of New York State. Thirty percent of the total floor space within the facility is served by mechanical cooling equipment. Repack selection utilizes paperless “pick-to-light” technology, which greatly reduces the amount of paper used in order processing.
“Further demonstrating our ongoing and deep commitment to environmental stewardship, we have been focused on operating energy efficient and sustainable buildings across our entire supply chain, and we are very pleased to receive this prestigious recognition,” said Tom Dziki, senior VP sustainable development.
Kohl’s achieves 100% green power
Menomonee Falls, Wis. Kohl’s Department Stores announced Tuesday that the company has purchased enough green power to meet 100% of its purchased electricity use with an annual green power purchase of nearly 1.4 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh).
With this latest purchase of renewable energy, Kohl’s increased its ranking to No. 2 overall and among Fortune 500 companies on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s listings of top green power purchasers.
Kohl’s retains its top ranking among retailers.
According to the EPA, Kohl’s green power purchase of 1,367,376,000 kWh is equivalent to avoiding the carbon-dioxide emissions of nearly 188,000 passenger vehicles per year or the amount of electricity needed to power nearly 128,000 average American homes annually.
Kohl’s purchases a combination of renewable-energy certificates and utility green power products in the areas of solar, wind and biomass generation. Several Kohl’s initiatives reflect the use and support of green power, including the rollout of a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified store prototype and a progressive solar program that generates solar power on-site at nearly 80 locations in six states.
Starbucks looks to overcome recycling barriers
Seattle Starbucks Coffee Co. is asking U.S. mayors and other municipal leaders to improve local commercial and residential recycling systems. Currently, recycling capabilities vary considerably from city to city and county to county, which presents a significant barrier for a business with more than 11,000 retail locations across the country, the chain said.
Starbucks said it is working with municipal governments, raw-materials suppliers, cup manufacturers, retail and beverage partners, recyclers, environmental NGOs and experts from the academic sector to develop a comprehensive recyclable cup solution by 2012.
“Scalability is critical,” said Jim Hanna, Starbucks director of environmental impact. “We can only achieve it if we take a holistic approach and join forces with our entire value chain. Mayors are uniquely positioned to mobilize stakeholders at a grassroots level and help drive solutions that will make our cups and other packaging more broadly recyclable in form and in practice.”
Currently, approximately 70% of Starbucks North American stores that control their own waste removal are recycling one or more items; however these are typically items behind the counter that are widely accepted for recycling, such as cardboard. Starbucks and other organizations now believe cardboard may be one path to scalability.
The company is participating in a pilot sponsored by Global Green USA’s Coalition for Resource Recovery to test the recyclability of Starbucks paper cups with old corrugated cardboard, the most extensively recycled material in the United States.
In addition to participating in and initiating recycling tests, Starbucks is aligning its operations with municipalities that are launching progressive recycling programs, such as San Francisco, where the company implemented front-of-store recycling and composting in November 2009.