Price Chopper Breaks Ground on Green Store

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Price Chopper Breaks Ground on Green Store

Price Chopper Supermarkets has commenced construction on a 69,000-square-foot store and pharmacy in Colonie, N.Y. that the grocer said will be the first LEED-certified supermarket in the state of New York.

The store, which is tentatively scheduled to open in spring 2009, will replace an existing 60,000-square-foot site in the same shopping plaza.

The grocer describes the future store as setting "a new standard for environmental design, construction, and functionality within our industry." The cutting-edge location will be a prototype for the next generation of Price Chopper supermarkets to include green building improvements.

LEED, or the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building Rating System, is a third-party certification program and the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings.

"As responsible corporate citizens, we continually look to incorporate the most efficient and environmentally sound practices into our business, for the sake of our customers, associates, and the communities in which we operate," said Price Chopper president and c.e.o. Neil Golub. "We have worked diligently with progressive partners in the business sector and government to incorporate the latest and best energy efficient technology and construction practices into the environment that we are creating around the vital fresh foods, packaged products, and services that we offer."

Price Chopper joined forces with the New York State Energy Research Development Authority (NYSERDA) to plan the project. NYSERDA will provide incentives through the New Construction Program, which will enhance the economic and environmental performance of the building.

"This project will allow Price Chopper to use the new supermarket as a way to educate customers about the benefits of environmental sustainability," commented Robert G. Callender, v.p. for programs at NYSERDA. "The implementation of green measures in new supermarkets will help Price Chopper further meet Gov. David Paterson's goal of reducing statewide electric consumption by 15 percent by 2015, and drive home the message to customers that we can all do our part to better the environment and reduce energy consumption."

As well as producing electricity, heat, and water electrochemically, the PureCell system also will be able to provide 400 kilowatts of standby power in case of a grid failure, permitting the store to operate without disruption, noted Ken Fox, UTC Power v.p. of on-site power solutions.

Further eco-friendly features of the store will include:
--Recycling over 75 percent of construction waste (rather than disposing of it in landfills or incinerators);
--Using natural lighting throughout the store to reduce electrical consumption;
--Employing green building materials to lower energy usage and the need for some cleaning fluids and paints;
--Obtaining (where available) local construction materials to minimize environmental impacts from transportation;
--Installing state-of-the-art refrigeration equipment to minimize ozone depleting refrigerant charges, in case of a leak;
--Recovering the heat from the refrigeration system and reusing it for space heating;
--Recycling waste produce from trimming through a hydrator process, which reduces the produce to "water" and eliminates waste transportation and disposal at landfills; and
--Using high-efficient, low-energy lighting systems throughout the store and in outside signage.

In other Price Chopper news, the regional grocer said it has rolled out its "Fuel AdvantEdge" gas discount program in southern Vermont and New Hampshire, in partnership with 13 local Sunoco stations.

The ongoing, cumulative savings/reward program, which began in 2006 and is already available at locations in Connecticut, upstate New York, and Worcester, Mass., gives consumers a 10-cent-per-gallon discount on gasoline purchases for every $50 of groceries purchased, a 20-cent-per-gallon gas discount for every $100 of groceries, a 30-cent-gallon gas discount for every $150 of groceries, and so on.

Unlike other reward programs, in the Price Chopper initiative shoppers can roll over their points/dollars spent across a 90-day time frame, and cash in on their gasoline discount for up to 20 gallons at their convenience.

The family-owned Golub Corp., based in Schenectady, N.Y., owns and operates over 100 Price Chopper grocery stores in New York, Vermont, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire.

In other green building news, Metro, Inc. this week opened a new 40,000-square-foot Food Basics store in Scarborough, Ont. that was the first store in the chain built with the expectation of becoming LEED-certified in the province. The store, one of over 100 operating under Metro's discount banner in Ontario, will also feature new energy-saving initiatives. Fellow Canadian grocers Loblaws and Sobeys have already debuted LEED-certified stores.