April 18, 2009



By Jodi Summers

In SoCal, we think we’re so green with Whole Foods and other green grocers, but the Cub Foods in St. Paul, MN, is going for LEED Gold certification from the US Green Building Council – making Cub Foods the second LEED Gold grocery store in the United States–to do so. (Giant Eagle in Columbus, Ohio is the first.)


The 62,900-square-foot Cub Foods store boasts 44 skylights that will illuminate 75% of regularly occupied spaces, using a solar-powered GPS system that redirects sunlight as needed. LED lights are used exclusively in the parking lot.

“We never intended for this story to be green,” says Lee Ann Jorgenson, a community relations manager of Stillwater, MN-based Cub Foods. But President Brian Huff suggested the possibility and the process took off from there, she noted.


Other techniques used at the store include recycling half the waste from demolished buildings on the site, a water-saving landscape irrigation system, and recycling of building construction materials. But those technologies can be used at many other building types.


Because they sell food and other perishable items, supermarkets have special needs require adaptation to be ‘green’. Cub Foods has received an award from the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) GreenChill Partnership at Gold-Level Certification. The award is given for outstanding use of environmentally friendly refrigeration technology. Even lighting refrigerated cases can be managed.


“Our cases use lights that are triggered by motion,” Jorgenson says. The result for all initiatives is a 35% savings on energy.


Packaging is also another important area for sustainability. Johnson Diversey is producing a highly concentrated sanitizer for sinks that automatically dispenses the proper amount of cleaner while reducing the amount of plastic in the store.

Cub Foods is not alone in pursuing sustainability. Corporate parent Supervalu also is building sustainable stores among its other banners, including testing a natural-gas powered fuel cell for its refrigeration system in a Star Market in Newton, MA. Stop & Shop, too, is building sustainable stores, and Fred Meyer hopes to achieve LEED Silver status for a unit in southeast Portland, OR. If it succeeds, the store would be the first grocer in Oregon and parent Kroger’s first unit to do so.

“There is certainly a great deal of interest in building green stores,” says Jeanne von Zastrow, a senior director overseeing sustainability efforts of the Food Marketing Institute, Arlington, VA. “About two years ago, we saw that our member companies wanted assistance to understand this issue.”

The notoriously tight-margin business must carefully track each expenditure, so FMI has created materials for executives to justify the return on investment of green building.

These include simplified carbon calculators to allow companies to assess their energy usage and emissions over a portfolio.


If your grocery store would like consultation, please contact us.




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Join the conversation! 16 Comments

  1. Biodiesel to fuel “World’s Greenest Building”

    Independence, Ore., residents wishing to gain some environmentally friendly ground will soon have the opportunity to lease space at Independence Station, a facility which its developers have dubbed the “world’s greenest building.”

    Nearly 50 percent complete in April, the $15 million building is expected to be finished by early 2010. It will house 15 condominiums and multiple office spaces and retail stores, possessing a multitude of green characteristics including rainwater collection and reuse, extensive day lighting, composition from recycled and reclaimed building materials and components, and power generated from biodiesel.

    The 57,000 square-foot building is also expected to be awarded the highest rating recorded by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building Rating System, according to main project developer and owner Aldeia LLC.

  2. http://www.smchamber.com/FreePickUp.pdf

    Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce and California
    Recycles ask you to be part of the solution by
    participating in our
    Free e-waste Pick up!
    California Recycles will be doing free pick up service for
    businesses in Santa Monica on
    Wednesday May 13, 2009
    Items we accept:
    Televisions monitors computers
    Laptops cell phones VCR players
    DVD player’s stereos scanners
    Fax keyboards mice
    Telephones microwaves printers
    Copier’s power supplies cables and cords
    To RSVP for your free pick up email your pick up
    request form
    to California Recycles at
    info@californiarecycles.com or fax it to 310-478-3005
    It’s easy to be green.
    California Recycles

  3. Singapore has unveiled an ambitious plan to certify 80 per cent of the city-state’s buildings as environmentally green.

    The island’s Building and Construction Authority (BCA) launched a second green building master plan this week.

    The master plan is aiming for 80 per cent of Singapore’s buildings to achieve a “green mark” standard by 2030.

    A green mark rates a building based on its environmental impact and performance.

    Owners of existing stock are being encouraged to alter their buildings to seek savings through things like modified building materials, different lighting, reduced cooling requirements and lower emissions.

    The BCA hopes this will in turn generate $1.5 billion in energy cost savings annually.

  4. While many developers are working towards sustainable building practices, some are not seeking the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification because of the cost.

    John Zinner, a Santa Monica, California-based LEED project manager, told the Santa Monica Daily Press, that soft costs — the design process — of going for certification could range roughly from $40,000 to $200,000, depending on the size of the project.

  5. Great point and very interesting food for thought. I’m not sure I have any clients I can replicate this with, but will bear in mind for the future. Regards

  6. Survey: ‘durability’ ranked first in green attributes

    According to a new survey commissioned by PPG Industries, durability is the most important green building attribute. Durability was followed by ENERGY STAR compliance, life-cycle assessment, no- or low-volatile organic compound content and the ability to source products regionally. Additionally, durability is the most important attribute among building products in general, ranking slightly ahead of price.

  7. Boosted in part by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which will provide significant funding for renovations to federal building, the total potential market for major green renovations in the commercial building sector is approximately $400 billion, according to a new study by Pike Research. Although currently a relatively small market, the market researcher forecasts that comprehensive efficiency retrofits will more than triple in annual revenue to $6.6 billion by 2013.

    The market researcher says the total U.S. commercial building market, with 70-billion square-feet of space, delivers one of the largest opportunities for energy savings, reduction of carbon emissions and increased property values.

    While direct energy savings can be significant with green retrofits, the study, “Energy Efficiency Retrofits for Commercial and Public Buildings”, indicates that most major projects will not be driven by cost savings, but instead will be initiated to meet broader policy and business objectives such as lower carbon footprints, higher employee productivity, and higher property values.

  8. San Francisco Passes Ordinance to Require Recycling and Composting

    Recycling & Composting in San Francisco The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted 9-2 to approve Mayor Gavin Newsom’s proposal to require every residence and business in the city to have three separate color-coded bins for waste: blue for recycling, green for compost and black for trash, beginning this fall.

    The recycling ordinance will greatly facilitate the LEED Material & Resources credits for building occupant recycling systems. With recycling required for all buildings, projects seeking LEED will not have to push for recycling areas to be included in a space, and for those seeking a certification under LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, the task of getting occupants to actually recycle may become much easier. Not only will the recycling law hopefully improve the recycling of plastics, glass, metal, paper, and cardboard, but with San Francisco’s innovative compost collection program, the waste stream will be reduced even further. As occupants learn to compost their food waste rather than use a sink disposal system, wastewater will be reduced as well.

  9. Как глупо все и несерьезно
    Темно за
    Небо роняет звезды как слезы

  10. From its roof sown with plants to the depths of its two geothermal wells, a new Hannaford supermarket has been declared the greenest of the green groceries in the United States. It’s the first to earn the highest rating possible from the U.S. Green Building Council.

  11. Really nice posts. I will be checking back here regularly.

  12. Very interesting posts. Thank you!

  13. Interesting post, definately food for thought hehe

  14. I like that you

    think. Thank you for share very

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