Whole Foods Market Achieves Energy Savings Goal Ahead of Schedule

Company is only grocer to partner with U.S. Department of Energy and set portfolio-wide goals
Marian Zboraj
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Whole Foods Market Achieves Energy Savings Goal Ahead of Schedule
Whole Foods Market achieved its energy savings goal as a partner in the DOE’s Better Buildings Challenge two years ahead of schedule.

As part of its continual commitment to reduce its environmental footprint, Whole Foods Market has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for achieving its energy savings goal as a partner in the Better Buildings Challenge. The grocer improved energy performance by 21% from a 2010 baseline, achieving its challenge goal two years ahead of schedule by implementing a wide range of retrofit projects and an energy awareness program for store operations.

Whole Foods is reportedly the only grocery retailer partnering with DOE to set portfolio-wide energy savings goals and share efficiency strategies on the Better Buildings Solution Center. To date, Better Buildings partners have saved more than $15 billion in energy costs, resulting in more than 150 million metric tons of avoided carbon emissions.

“Congratulations to our 2022 Better Buildings Goal Achievers for reaching their ambitious energy savings goals,” said Kelly Speakes-Backman, principal deputy assistant secretary for energy efficiency and renewable energy at Washington D.C.-based DOE. “By saving energy and sharing their proven real-world solutions, these partners are leading the charge toward a clean-energy economy while helping other organizations learn from their success.”

Whole Foods improved energy efficiency across 12.3 million square feet of its building portfolio. The company has reportedly been a leading adopter of low-global-warming-potential refrigeration technologies, piloting several unique system designs. As of 2021, the company also has 70 stores and facilities supplementing traditional supply with power from rooftop solar installations.

As a Better Buildings Challenge Partner, Whole Foods has employed sub-metering and monitoring tools to measure, analyze and publicly share the performance of newly designed and replicated energy efficiency and climate protection initiatives in new and retrofitted stores. The company also works with manufacturers, trade allies, industry peers, the DOE, the Environmental Protection Agency and other organizations to further its energy efficiency goals.

“At Whole Foods Market, our mission is to Nourish People and the Planet, and we strive to fulfill this mission in all aspects of our business, including the design and operation of our stores,” said Caitlin Leibert, VP of corporate social responsibility at Whole Foods. “We’re encouraged by the progress we’ve made thus far and are committed to continuing this very important work with the U.S. Department of Energy and stakeholders across the industry to help raise the bar for energy efficiency and environmental stewardship.”

More details on the grocer’s environmental initiatives can be found in its recently released inaugural Social Impact Update.

The Better Buildings Challenge is one component of the Better Buildings Initiative, through which DOE partners with more than 900 public and private-sector organizations to make commercial, public, industrial and residential buildings more efficient. 

The first certified-organic national grocer, Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods has more than 500 stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of AmazonSeattle-based Amazon is No. 2 on The PG 100,  Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

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