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PITTSBURGH - Giant Eagle, Inc. has become the nation's first grocer to earn the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.
The certification from LEED, a national green building rating system administered by the U.S. Green Building Council, was awarded to Giant Eagle for a store in suburban Cleveland, Ohio. The certification designates that Giant Eagle has and will continue to meet required standards by incorporating environmentally responsible features and systems into the 80,000-square-foot supermarket, which opened this past summer in the Brunswick Town Center shopping plaza.
The LEED designation builds on the chain's already recognized commitment to responsible resource use. Giant Eagle was recognized in February as a 2004 Energy Star Retail Partner of the Year by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, for adopting smart and efficient energy practices.
"Becoming the first LEED-certified supermarket underscores the importance of being an environmentally responsible member of the communities we serve," said Giant Eagle v.p. of marketing Kevin Srigley. "It is a continuation of our pledge to understand the environmental issues that we all face and to adopt appropriate practices to meet those challenges. Our conservation department continues to pursue alternative sources of energy and conservation initiatives."
Among the Brunswick Giant Eagle's environmentally-friendly features are:
-The consumption of 30 percent less energy than comparable supermarkets, with more than 50 percent of the location's electrical energy supplied through wind generation.
-Fifty skylights integrated with electrical lighting sensors, which automatically adjust the amount of electric light supplied, depending on the light generated by the skylight.
-Air-quality sensors to monitor for carbon dioxide and other gases, to ensure fresh, clean air throughout the entire store.
-The absence of ozone-depleting refrigerants in the refrigeration and cooling systems.
"A great deal of time, talent, and resources went into making our Brunswick concept a reality," added Giant Eagle director of conservation Jim Lampl. "We already are implementing many of these features into our new supermarkets for the benefit of our employees and customers."
Guided tours of the LEED features employed at the Brunswick Giant Eagle are available to the public, and teachers interested in educational visits can make arrangements by contacting the store at (330) 225-0616. Reservations are not required for impromptu individual tours, but are needed for large groups.