STORE SPACES

Whole Foods installs car-charging station

BY CSA STAFF

Austin, Texas Whole Foods Markets has installed an electric car charging station at its flagship store in downtown Austin, Texas.

The charging station, powered by Coulomb Technologies is open to all plug-in vehicle drivers. Users can sign up for a monthly access plan with Coulomb ChargePass smart card, or one-time charging by calling a number listed on the charging station.

“Whole Foods Market is committed to supporting wise environmental practices, which means making decisions that positively affect the health of our planet, its people, and its resources,” said Mark Dixon, Whole Foods southwest regional president. “It is our hope that by offering electric vehicle charging, we can support alternative transportation and help Austin residents decrease their environmental impact.”

 

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Darden announces system-wide sustainability goals

BY CSA STAFF

Orlando, Fla. Darden Restaurants announced it has committed to reducing energy and water usage by 15% by the year 2015 in each of its 1,800 restaurants across North America.

The company also announced that it has joined the Sustainability Consortium, an independent organization of diverse global participants working collaboratively to build a scientific foundation that drives innovation to improve consumer product sustainability.

“Darden is committed to sustainability,” said Ian Olson, director of sustainability for Darden. “Our business relies on a number of natural resources, and these goals are designed to help us be the best stewards of those resources that we can be. At the same time, our membership in the Sustainability Consortium will allow us to build on our efforts by combining our knowledge and insights with organizations in other fields, effectively multiplying our impact.”

Darden has set goals to reduce per-restaurant energy and water use by 15% by 2015 and, long term, to send zero waste to landfills. To date, the company has implemented water-saving measures estimated to cut usage by 700,000 gallons per year in each of its restaurants; installed energy-efficient lighting in all kitchens; and implemented fixed “Power Up” schedules to help reduce energy consumption.

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BJ’s partners with Tioga Energy to add solar services

BY CSA STAFF

Natick, Mass. BJ’s Wholesale Club said Tuesday that it has teamed with renewable energy supplier Tioga Energy to add four solar photovoltaic systems to its current roster of 12 rooftop installations in six states.

The first two rooftop systems, currently under construction at clubs in Leominster and South Attleboro, Mass., are scheduled for completion next month, with two additional projects in New Jersey to be completed in this summer.

The systems will be installed and financed through Power Purchase Agreements with Tioga, allowing the clubs to implement solar energy without upfront costs.

“Since the 90’s BJ’s has taken the smart business strategy of lowering electricity costs through solar power and energy efficiency measures,” said Kevin Moran, manager of energy at BJ’s Wholesale Club. “With Tioga Energy as a partner, we are able to take our commitment to solar to the next level, while managing first-cost installation hurdles and providing a hedge against future rate increases.”

“With their large, flat roofs, big-box stores lend themselves to solar power,” said Ian Bowles, secretary of energy and environmental affairs for Massachusetts. “I applaud BJ’s and Tioga Energy for stepping up the plate and taking on a leadership role in putting clean, renewable power to work in these stores — reducing their use of electricity from fossil fuels, cutting greenhouse gas emissions, and contributing to Massachusetts’s clean energy future.”

With these new installations online, BJ’s will have more than 2000 KW of solar power attributing to its lower and more predictable electricity costs, with the Leominster and South Attleboro installations at 308 KW and 344 KW, respectively and the New Jersey installations providing 409 KW and 500 KW.

Under the terms of the PPA, BJ’s Wholesale Club pays only for the electricity produced by the systems, while Tioga is responsible for installation, monitoring and maintenance.

Spire Corp. is the construction partner for the solar installations.

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