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AUSTIN, Texas - The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recognized Whole Foods Market for its green power purchases by awarding the retailer a 2004 Green Power Leadership Award at the agency's Annual Leadership Awards in Albany, N.Y.
The Green Power Leadership Awards are competitive awards that recognize commitments and achievements in the green power marketplace of individuals or organizations that are significantly advancing the development of renewable electricity through green power markets.
"I think this honor is a great opportunity to show our shoppers and team members that we 'walk our talk' with dedication to our green mission to be a leader in environmental stewardship," said Michael Besancon, Whole Foods Market Southern Pacific regional president and Green Mission task force leader. "We continue to support organic farmers, growers, and the environment through our commitment to sustainable agriculture and by expanding the market for organic products, and we plan to make green energy purchasing a priority."
Currently Whole Foods Market purchases or generates more than 20 percent of its total national power load from green power sources every year –- which is comparable to removing 8,600 cars from the road per year. In some states, such as California, Colorado, and New Mexico, Whole Foods is 100 percent green-powered. The grocer also uses solar panels to generate renewable-based electricity at five stores in California and New Jersey.
"Whole Foods Market is currently the second-largest commercial purchaser of green power in the partnership,” said Kurt Johnson, spokesman for the EPA's Green Power Partnership. "The company's leadership in green power markets is providing significant support towards the development of new renewable energy power plants across the country."
Whole Foods' green power purchases include a variety of products, among them renewable energy certificates and green power that is sold through utilities and energy marketers. Green power products purchased by Whole Foods employ several forms of renewable energy, such as wind, solar, small-hydro, and geothermal. Almost 50 percent of Whole Foods Market's total green power purchases come from wind power.
In August Whole Foods Market joined the EPA's Green Power Partnership, a voluntary program that works to standardize green power procurement as part of best environmental management. Partners in the program pledge to switch to green power for a portion of their electricity needs.