OPERATIONS

Whole Foods Market to build greenhouse atop Brooklyn store

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Whole Foods Market announced that Gotham Greens will be its operating partner in the nation’s first commercial- scale greenhouse farm integrated within a supermarket. The 20,000-sq.-ft. greenhouse, which is currently under construction on the roof of the forthcoming Whole Foods Market store in Gowanus, Brooklyn, is scheduled to open in late 2013.

The new greenhouse will be designed, built and operated by Gotham Greens in partnership with Whole Foods Market. The specially designed rooftop farm will include advanced irrigation systems that use up to 20 times less water than conventional farming as well as enhanced glazing materials and electrical equipment to reduce overall energy demand. Gotham Greens will grow premium quality, pesticide-free produce year round in the greenhouse for the Gowanus store along with other Whole Foods locations throughout New York City, the retailer said.

The rooftop greenhouse will be fully operational at the time of the new store opening.

To watch a video about Gotham Greens and this greenhouse initiative, visit Darkrye.com.

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Walmart announces gasoline discount program

BY Marianne Wilson

Bentonville, Ark. — Walmart is easing the pain at the pump by offering customers who use a Walmart MoneyCard or Walmart Credit Card a 15 cents per gallon reduction on their fuel purchase. Customers using a Walmart gift card will receive a 10 cent per gallon discount. Gas will be discounted at more than 1,000 Murphy USA and Walmart gas stations located at Walmart stores in 21 participating states.

“As I travel to stores across the country, I am constantly hearing that gas prices are making it tough for our customers to balance their budgets. For every cent gas prices climb, consumers have $1 billion less to spend," said Gisel Ruiz, chief operating officer for Walmart U.S. "Over the past two years, our Great Gas Rollback has saved customers more than $100 million. This year, we’re bringing it back to help families as they hit the road to visit relatives, go on vacation, celebrate the summer holidays and every shopping trip in between."

Walmart’s gas discount program will run through July 7. Last year, the chain ran a similar promotion from Aug. 31 through Dec. 24.

For a list of participating Walmart and Murphy USA stations visit Walmart.com/gas.

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Walgreens expanding solar energy initiative to 22 stores in Colorado

BY Marianne Wilson

Aurora, Col. — Walgreens has expanded its renewable energy initiative to Colorado. Clean-energy provider SolarCity announced it will implement solar systems at 22 Walgreens stores across 14 different cities in Colorado in the coming months, with the first installation completed in Aurora.

“A strong commitment to the local community is one of our company’s core values,” said Menno Enters, director of energy and sustainability at Walgreens. “SolarCity is helping us contribute to the health of the local communities we operate in by providing us with clean energy as well as contributing to the local economy in Colorado.”

Walgreens began implementing solar in 2007 at many of its retail stores across the country. The new rollout in Colorado brings the chain closer to reaching the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge. As a participant in the initiative, the company has committed to reducing its energy use by 20% by the year 2020 across 125 million sq. ft. of its retail floor space.

Walgreens ranked as the second leading retailer in the United States in utilization of renewable energy at its stores, according to Solar Energy Industries Association. The new solar systems cumulatively will reduce more than 47.5 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions over the next 20 years, which is comparable to planting 25,711 trees.

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